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Seattle’s Housing Horror Show

Mayor Ed Murray is a hypocrite and dissembles with the best of them.

Sayeth the Mayor ““We cannot be a city where people protest the exclusionary agenda coming from Washington, D.C., while at the same time keeping a zoning code in place that does not allow us to build the affordable housing we need,” Murray said. “If we do not build more housing, we have seen what happens: more and more people compete for the same homes and prices go up, creating an invisible wall around our neighborhoods and locking people out.”

First, we are already building housing FASTER than we have in recent decades. The Mayor however is fueling corporate expansion that far exceeds the ability of Seattle’s housing industry’s to add housing at a commensurate growth rate. This is the root cause of the displacement he laments and is unable to slow.

Second, the Mayor’s own Grand Bargain and MHA program EXCLUDES poor people from downtown, South Lake Union and now University District apartment projects (and ultimately throughput the city if this failed policy continues) by allowing developers to NOT build housing onsite (his own OPCD predicts a small fraction of affordable housing will be onsite). The Mayor instead will continue to allow the SEGREGATION of poorer and low-income people into their own low-income housing projects. So much for “inclusion”…

Finally, the Mayor himself is locking people out of HIS neighborhood by not changing the zoning there (why? perhaps bias to his his wealthy neighbors?). The change he pushes against lowrise and single family zones does NOT produce onsite affordable housing in these neighborhoods. It will only produce low density EXPENSIVE townhouses. This will certainly make the developers happy and wealthy, but it will NOT address our affordable housing crisis.

His Trumpian attacks on homeowners and long term residents and seniors is offensive, and is simply pandering to his base: the developers, downtown property owners (who are enjoying growing corporate office rents), and the Chamber of Commerce.

The real NIMBYs are Murray and Rob Johnson who are not including THEIR homes in upzones while berating people who object to blanket upzoning because of the displacement it will cause, and because of the administration’s autocratic and top-down bullying without concurrency and BASIC neighborhood growth planning.


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