What Your Advocacy Will Lead To…
There’s a lot going on right now in the housing policy world, and you are being asked to keep taking action, to show up, and to keep energized and engaged. It can be overwhelming. This is what you are fighting for.
237 Affordable Homes
The former army reserve site, Fort Lawton, is under utilized public land. Over the past 15 years, advocates have been engaged with the City of Seattle to use this public land for the public good. The City in partnership with Habitat for Humanity and Catholic Community/Housing Services will use the surplus land to create much needed affordable homes. The 237 affordable homes will include 85 permanent supportive housing for senior making at or below 30% of Area Median Income (AMI), 100 apartments for low-income people and families making up to 60% AMI, and affordable homeownership opportunities for people making up to 80% AMI.
Every neighborhood needs more affordable homes, and every neighbor deserves their lawmakers to use all the tools in the toolkit. Using surplus public land to build affordable homes across the income spectrum, is a crucial step in meeting the tremendous need for housing in our community.
Community Voice and Anti-Displacement
The Seattle Office of Housing is updating their Administrative and Financial Plan including a suite of recommendations from Mayor Durkan on anti-displacement strategies. One of these proposed changes is a Community Preference Policy. This policy would allow community groups to partner with the Office of Housing and the affordable housing developers to help ensure that the development in benefiting the community its built in while remaining in compliance with the Fair Housing Act. This is an example of how when affordable housing development is done right it can serve as an anti-displacement tool as the people most at risk from being pushed out of their community are being served by the new housing. We have a tremendous need for housing in Seattle, but we have to build with accountability to the communities that make Seattle such a vibrant place to live.
The King County Regional Affordable Housing Task Force found that we need 156,000 affordable homes right now. The County is investing in staff and other resources to see the recommendations of the Task Force come to fruition and put us on the path of reaching that number through production and preservation. Part of being able to build to the scale of tremendous need we have, is making it easier for affordable housing developers to build. Affordable housing advocates are encouraging King County Council to create an exemption for affordable developments from paying the Sewer Capacity Charge.
Advocacy leads to policy and policy leads to progress. Thank you for all you do to ensure that everyone in King County has access to safe, healthy, and affordable homes. Reach out to [email protected] about talking points or any other questions on getting involved.