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Burgess Statement on Council Vote to Approve Local Control for Rental Housing

City of Seattle

Burgess Statement on Council Vote to Approve Local Control for Rental Housing


SEATTLE – Council voted today to support efforts by the State Legislature to allow local governments to increase the supply of rent-restricted units and protect tenants from sudden and dramatic rent increases, without causing a negative impact on the quality or quantity of housing supply.

Council President Tim Burgess, who authored the resolution, issued the following statement after the vote:

“After last week’s committee discussion about Resolution 31590, it became clear to me that the Council needed a fresh start. Dogmatic rhetoric blocked pragmatic steps forward. As Council President, I drafted an alternative resolution that better captures the intent expressed by most councilmembers: to request local control for local solutions.

“Residents of Seattle face an affordability crisis. Rising housing costs threaten our future as an equitable city. It’s incumbent on the Council to consider numerous strategies to increase the availability of affordable housing in Seattle, including some that require changes in State law.

“Cities should be given as many tools as possible to create rent-restricted units, like we currently do through a limited Multifamily Tax Exemption program and the Seattle Housing Levy. Cities should also be allowed to consider regulations that protect tenants from exorbitant increases without damaging the quality or quantity of housing supply. Prohibiting rents from increasing 50% or 100% in a 12-month period, for example, is a reasonable regulation and would not hurt the housing market.

“I’m grateful my colleagues have rallied around this more levelheaded language in support of local control and facilitated its quick adoption today.”

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