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    Licata Calls on Feds to Intercede on Seattle Housing Authority Rent Proposal

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 9/19/2014 Licata Calls on Feds to Intercede on Seattle Housing Authority Rent Proposal Councilmember concerned proposal to raise rent may put affordable housing programs out of reach SEATTLE - Councilmember Nick Licata sent...[More]

    Licata Calls on Feds to Intercede on Seattle Housing Authority Rent Proposal

    Licata Calls on Feds to Intercede on Seattle Housing Authority Rent Proposal Councilmember concerned proposal to raise rent may put affordable housing programs out of reach SEATTLE – Councilmember Nick Licata sent a letter to the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) yesterday, requesting that the department adopt new emergency administrative rules for Public Housi[More]

    “Stepping Forward” May be a Step Backward for Many

    “Stepping Forward” May be a Step Backward for Many Proposal to Raise Rent May Make Affordable Housing Programs Out of Reach Here and below is a letter that I sent yesterday to Julian Castro, Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In the letter I request that HUD adopt new emergency administrative […][More]

    Council and Mayor Seek Candidates for Seattle Park District Community Oversight Committee

    City of Seattle FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 9/18/2014

    Council and Mayor Seek Candidates for Seattle Park District Community Oversight Committee

    SEATTLE- The City Council and Mayor Ed Murray are seeking candidates to fill seven positions on the Seattle Park District's newly created Community Oversight Committee. The Seattle Park District was approved by Seattle voters in August 2014, creating a sustainable and long-term source of funding for the Seattle parks system.

    The Community Oversight Committee will provide advice to the Mayor, City Council and the Superintendent of Parks and Recreation, as well as provide oversight of projects, programs and services undertaken by the City and the Seattle Park District. The committee will meet quarterly to:

    • Make recommendations on the allocation of the Major Projects Challenge Fund;
    • Hold public meetings and make recommendations to update the next spending plan;
    • Review the Department of Parks and Recreation Annual Report; and
    • Provide the Mayor, City Council and Superintendent of Parks and Recreation with annual reports on the progress of expenditures and projects.

    The Committee will be composed of 15 members, seven members of the public (one from each Seattle district), four Board or Commission members to be recommended by Seattle City Boards & Commissions and four members from the Seattle Board of Park Commissioners. Each will serve either a one, two or three year term, to be determined during the selection process. The City seeks to appoint Community Oversight Committee members with a diversity of expertise and perspectives including, but not limited to parks management, public financing, urban horticulture, landscape architecture, contract management and the interests of low-income and communities of color. The Committee's first official meeting will be held in April 2015, but members should be available to meet before this date, in early 2015.

    The Council and the Mayor are committed to promoting diversity in the city's Committees. Women, persons with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ community and persons of color are highly encouraged to apply.

    To be considered, please send a letter of interest indicating which district you represent and resume by October 20, 2014 to Councilmember Jean Godden, jean.godden@seattle.gov. Please title subject line: Oversight Committee Application. Electronic submissions are preferred.

    To send a paper submittal, please address to:

    Councilmember Jean Godden
    PO Box 34025
    Seattle, WA 98124

    [View in Council Newsroom]

    [More]

    Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda Announced

    City of Seattle FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 9/18/2014

    Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda Announced

    SEATTLE - The City Council's Committee on Housing Affordability, Human Services and Economic Resiliency approved a resolution today calling for the development of a Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda for Seattle. The Agenda will create a comprehensive housing plan for Seattle by identifying housing needs over the next ten years and recommending new policies or programs to meet any gaps.

    "We have to intentionally plan to achieve housing affordability for a diverse mix of incomes and families in our city," said Councilmember Sally J. Clark, the legislation's sponsor and chair of the committee. "For the first time, we'll have a comprehensive catch-all plan for how we'd like to see housing serve the entire spectrum of people in Seattle."

    The Agenda will be developed in the City’s Office of Housing and Office for Policy and Innovation, aided by a stakeholder advisory group. Staff will utilize recent council reports and research, best practices from cities around the nation and conduct a thorough review of existing policies and programs from across City departments. The plan is expected to be presented back to the Mayor and City Council by the end of May, 2015 for further community engagement, review and adoption.

    "We need more housing options so that people who work in this city can afford to live in this city," said Councilmember Mike O’Brien. "I believe this plan will help us get in front of the growing pressure on affordability and help us provide more opportunities to live in Seattle for more people."

    Seattle currently faces many challenges relating to housing affordability and access. Currently, 43% of Seattle renter households are burdened by housing costs and 21% are severely burdened, which means more than one- half of household income goes toward rent. Preliminary data also suggests Seattle will have a growing gap in family-sized housing. According to a recent study, enrollment in Seattle Public Schools' kindergartens began increasing rapidly in the last decade. Enrollment is projected to be nearly 60,000 by the year 2020.

    "Preserving affordable housing is particularly important in this housing climate when subsidized housing like the Theodora is being converted to market rate housing, not to mention the cycle of demolition, redevelopment and increased rent in market rate rentals, and finally the likely future upswing in condo conversions," said Councilmember Nick Licata.

    "Working together as a city, we can seize our destiny as a city that increases affordable housing across the economic spectrum – for homeless housing to workforce housing," said Mayor Ed Murray. "By hearing from renters and homeowners, and representatives from the financial sector, for-profit developers, non-profit developers, and other local housing experts, we can develop a housing agenda that will make a powerful and lasting impact on the current and future affordability of our city."

    The resolution was developed collaboratively with community members, Mayor Ed Murray, Councilmember Sally J. Clark, Councilmember Mike O’Brien and Councilmember Nick Licata. Full Council is scheduled to vote on the resolution on Monday, September 22.

    [View in Council Newsroom]

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    Council and Mayor Seek Candidates for Seattle Park District Community Oversight Committee

    Council and Mayor Seek Candidates for Seattle Park District Community Oversight Committee SEATTLE – The City Council and Mayor Ed Murray are seeking candidates to fill seven positions on the Seattle Park District’s newly created Community Oversight Committee. The Seattle Park District was approved by Seattle voters in August 2014, creating a sustainable and long-term source of funding for the[More]

    Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda Announced

    Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda Announced  SEATTLE — The City Council’s Committee on Housing Affordability, Human Services and Economic Resiliency approved a resolution today calling for the development of a Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda for Seattle. The Agenda will create a comprehensive housing plan for Seattle by identifying housing needs over the next ten years [More]

    Microhousing Regulations Move Forward

    On Tuesday the Council’s land use committee passed a new set of regulations for microhousing, providing an avenue for small living units to be designed and built in a safe, healthy, predictable and affordable way. In crafting these regulations, the...[More]

    The Rise of Microhousing

    First we called them aPodments, but that soon switched to micros. Whatever you call them, they inspire either horror at the resurgence of the old-time single-room-occupancy hotel or they look to be the latest and greatest in affordable urban living. After Tuesday’s Planning, Land Use & Sustainability meeting they’re also the subject of a possible […][More]

    Creating Clean, Safe, Affordable Places to Live — Tiny Houses and more.

    Last spring I visited Quixote Village in Olympia and suggested we should build 1,000 small houses region-wide for those who want to live in compact affordable homes or to bring people who are homeless in from out of the rain. You can read my views here. Panza, a faith-based non profit working with the City […][More]