Just got back from the official launch for our new housing affordability and livability plan. The plan, outlined in this resolution, convenes an advisory committee to establish a Seattle Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda, due to Council and the Mayor in May. There’s more information in the Mayor’s press release. Below are my comments as prepared.
Home is where the heart is. Home sweet home. And in the words of David Byrne, home, it’s where I want to be.
Housing is the wonkier word for homes and I’m thankful for the Mayor’s collaboration so we as a city will focus our work on a plan for housing affordability and livability – so we can plan for what we want and need. The price point, the style, the size, the locations. We are a city of booms and busts, but all indications point to continued long-term influx of people wanting to make Seattle there home. We need this plan so we can chart a course to ensuring housing meets the needs of our whole community and does it in a way that helps our environment and keeps our neighborhoods the great, interesting places they are.
Last week I toured Bianca’s place, that’s the congregate family shelter run by Mary’s Place. The families at Bianca’s Place, and the families in Seattle’s future who will need a Bianca’s Place, are just one reason we need this effort, this sharpened focus and blueprint for housing.
I met several parents doing what it takes to keep their families safe and together. In particular I met one woman, an East African woman, who had found Bianca’s Place and spent some time there, but last Thursday was a big day – she showed me the keys to her new house. Her smile was bigger than the room. Her family would have a place to call their own.
Whether it’s an apartment, an aPodment, a detached house, a co-op, a townhouse or a rowhouse, tower or ground floor – if we don’t build a plan, we’ll get housing, but
I want to thank the advisory committee members and City staff who will work on this plan.