FACEBOOK: Does Seattle Need To Build Poorhouses?

Last week the AAUP released a position letter in support of what it called a democratized UW.  I responded by poiniing out that n terms of faculty dmeocracy,, "pricate schools like the Ivies, Cal Tech, Stanford do a lot bettter job of avoiding corporate influenmce than srtate run schools like our own.

Sarajane’s analysis is correct but she glosses over the fact that her solution implies a new tax and re-creation of the “housing projects.”  .. Whatever mechanism you use, paying for housing with government many requires creates  a tax on all people living or working in Seattle to provide government funded housing.  Hiding this tax by saying it will be paid by the developers is silly .. the developers can and will pass on the tax to their renters or purchasers.   Sarajane also seems blind to the ample lessons from te “housing project era” … government housing for the poor created ghettoes … Seattle doe not need more apartheid.    LET’S NOT BUILD NEW POORHO– USES

Erica C. Barnett wrote, “Cognitive dissonance is strong with these candidates. Most of the eight had no problem saying they want to see lots more affordable housing in one breath, and saying that they also support higher taxes on all new development in the next.”

The reason “dissonance is strong” among these candidates is that many of them understand the solutions to affordable housing better than ECB does. Building more market-rate housing is great for new Amazonians, but it does nothing for low-income seniors and people living on Social Security. It does nothing for minimum-wage hotel, retail, restaurant and home-care workers, either.

Building low-income and workforce housing requires subsidies and cannot be done by the marketplace. To build affordable housing requires substantial infusions of funds. The MFTE has been a failure in this regard–too few units built, only affordable for 12 years. Instead, recommended tools are: linkage fees, councilmanic bonds to create a land bank, bridge loans to preserve older buildings, a low-interest maintenance loan fund for small building owners, and inclusive zoning. ECB’s cognitive dissonance comes from her continuing to espouse the urbanista trickle-down affordability myth–which takes 20-30 years and never becomes affordable to those making less than 50% of area median income. It’s also a vast exaggeration to assume that paying a one-time 5% linkage fee at the time of permitting, financed over 30 years, would have more than a negligible effect on the number of units built in a market as hot as this. Bottom line: the developers, not homeowners, must pay for more affordable housing. They can afford it.

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