First Committee Meeting of 2013

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I’m pleased to report that today, Wednesday, January 9, I chaired my first Housing, Human Services, Health, and Culture (HHSHC) Committee of 2013.  If you missed it, I encourage you to check it out online here at the Seattle Channel.

The meeting was a good preview of some of the major issues that my committee members and I will be tackling this year, including:

  • Monitoring the Yesler Terrace Re-development
  • Implementation of Seattle new Rental Registration and Inspection Program passed by the Council last fall
  • Multi-Family Tax Exemption (MFTE) Program changes to address a. 2012 MFTE Audit findings and b. program changes necessary to implement possible Council decisions on appropriate program goals

Here is a very quick summary of what you can expect in upcoming months on each of these 3 topics.

January 23 HHSHC Committee

At this meeting, the Seattle Housing Authority will give a presentation on their proposed Yesler Terrace Relocation Plan.  It’s important that the 561 households at Yesler Terrace are supported throughout this process, that their moving costs are reimbursed, that they not have to move more than once, that families with school-aged children don’t have their education disrupted, that they have the right to return to Yesler Terrace, and that the maximum number of very low income units are developed onsite so that they can return to Yesler Terrace if they do want to return to the new Yesler Terrace.

February 13 HHSHC Committee

In order to provides context for for future MFTE Program discussions, which will take several months this year to complete, the Office of Housing will present:

a. A snapshot of the current housing market (rent levels, vacancies, etc)

b. Current affordable housing needs data

c. MFTE Annual Report including up to date program activity and status on administrative procedures changes to respond to 2012 Audit findings

April 10 HHSHC Committee

At this meeting we will get will hear about a proposed fee structure and learn what implementation costs will be reimbursed through this fee revenue paid for by landlords and which costs will be reimbursed through other sources.  We will also get a full implementation plan for the Rental  Registration and Inspection Program that will estimate resources needed by quarter over the next 2 years to do the following:

  • Establish a publicly accessible database of properties regulated under the program
  • Outreach to regulated property owners and tenants
  • Register property owners
  • Establish a training program for inspectors
  • Promulgate a rule for random inspections
  • Begin inspections

I’m looking forward to 2013 and am confident that it will be another productive year for my HHSHC Committee