by Ronnie Estoque
The love that the Seattle community had for legendary civil-rights activist Robert “Uncle Bob” Santos was in full bloom Thursday evening for the virtual groundbreaking of a new affordable housing development named after him. An additional Zoom overflow room had to be created to accommodate all the many community members in attendance. The CID-based InterIm Community Development Association (CDA) in charge of the development produced a video shown during the event that discussed Uncle Bob’s contributions to the neighborhood and details about the building, which is set to begin its construction in the second week of March.
Continue reading Virtual Groundbreaking of Uncle Bob’s Place Honors Legendary Community Activist
by Guy Oron
Over 150 people gathered this Saturday, Feb. 20, to protest in solidarity with Amazon warehouse workers and against the crisis of housing affordability in King County. The protestors gathered outside the Renton offices of the Washington Multi-Family Housing Association (WMFHA), a landlord lobby group, before marching to the Amazon Flex warehouse, also known as DSE5.
The demonstration was organized by a coalition of local activist and labor groups, including the Seattle Democratic Socialists of America (SDSA) and MLK Labor (also known as the King County Labor Council). Organizers coordinated the action in coordination with a national day of solidarity in support of workers at the Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, who are trying to unionize. Workers at the Bessemer warehouse are currently voting on whether to form a union, and if they prove successful, the facility would become the first unionized Amazon warehouse in the United States.
Continue reading Protestors Rally in Renton in Support of Alabama Amazon Workers
by Ashley Archibald
An affordable housing developer got a reprieve as the minutes ticked down toward its deadline to move forward with plans for a mixed-use building as part of an ambitious four-building complex near the Othello Link light rail station in South Seattle.
HomeSight leaders are expected to send a new proposal for Building A of the Othello Square campus project — which includes the Opportunity Center with more than 200 units of affordable housing above it — for a vote at its board meeting this week. If approved, the developer will receive a 90-day extension to purchase the Building A property for the development from the Seattle Housing Authority (SHA). The original deadline to buy the parcel was Jan. 15, but SHA granted an extension, and HomeSight’s board is expected to consider the proposal on Thursday, Feb. 11.
Continue reading Opportunity Center and Affordable Housing Near Othello Station in Flux Over Cleanup Concerns
by Melody Ip
When Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda reflects on her past four years in office, she celebrates hard-fought wins for healthier families, worker protections, and small businesses. Yet COVID-19 hit and reversed the progression, significantly impacting many of the people Mosqueda has worked so hard to protect. For this reason, Mosqueda is running for a second term on the City Council, believing her work is not yet done.
“I don’t want us to recover to what we were before,” Mosqueda said. “I want to recover to a more equitable Seattle, and that drives me to stay in the legislative branch and fight for those longer-term policies that, once we [pass them] into law, will make dramatic improvements for people’s lives over the long haul.”
Continue reading Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda: Finding Commonality in Division
by Ben Mitchell
In 1990 Washington State passed the Growth Management Act to help our cities and counties accommodate rapid growth while protecting what makes our state a great place to live: vibrant and diverse cities, beautiful wilderness and coastal areas, and working farmland.
Continue reading OPINION: Washington Can’t Wait for Affordable Housing
by Chetanya Robinson
David Hackney’s victory over 18-year incumbent Zack Hudgins to serve as a representative in Washington State’s 11th Legislative District was decisive, with Hackney earning 61% of the vote.
For Hackney and his supporters, it signalled that the 11th District — which encompasses Renton, Tukwila, part of Kent, and a slice of South Seattle that includes SoDo, the Industrial District, Georgetown, and South Park — wanted new leadership. “I think they were ready for change,” said Hackney in an interview with the Emerald. “I think they saw in me the energy of an organizer — someone that was going to be fighting inside and outside of Olympia on critical issues.”
Continue reading Newly Elected Legislator David Hackney Hopes to Bring Change to the 11th District
by Mark Van Streefkerk
The Gardner House and Allen Family Center, a one-stop service hub and permanent housing solution for families leaving homelessness, kicked off their three-day Virtual Grand Opening on June 24. Community members are invited to virtual tours, a Q & A with muralist Kenji Hamai Stoll, and a Meet the Families segment, culminating in a virtual block party on Facebook at noon on Friday, June 26, featuring Seattle Seahawks DJ Supa Sam.
Continue reading Mount Baker’s Gardner House and Allen Family Center Offer Permanent Housing and Resources For Underhoused Families
by Mark Van Streefkerk
Last Wednesday, April 29, tenants at Bellwether Housing Kingway Apartments & Juneau Townhomes submitted a petition signed by 100 residents across the two adjacent affordable housing complexes, making several demands of their landlord, Bellwether Housing. The demands included rent reduction or forgiveness and a fair and transparent payment plan in light of COVID-19 shutdowns. Bellwether responded on Friday, May 1, stating they were unable to decrease or forgive rent and they reiterated previous policies outlined in a letter issued to residents on March 19. The March 19 letter, from Director of Property Management Michelle Hawley and Resident Services Manager Elliot Swanson, said that back rent accrued during the government shutdowns could be paid on a payment plan that wouldn’t go into effect until normal operations resumed and that residents would have at least nine months to pay any back rent that might have accrued due to coronavirus-related unemployment.
Continue reading Tenants Organize For Fair Treatment at Bellwether Housing Kingway Apartments & Juneau Townhomes
by Aaron Burkhalter
Four years ago, the city of Seattle first began the process of lifting restrictions on mother-in-law apartments, basement apartments, backyard cottages and other accessory dwelling units.
These structures and housing add-ons are often known by different acronyms: ADUs (Accessory Dwelling Units) and DADUs (Detached Accessory Dwelling Units). Setting the legislative alphabet soup aside, these are basically residential structures or apartments that share space inside or on the same property as single family homes. In a city where housing is scarce and single-family homes take up a disproportionate share of the land, allowing more of these could make a difference.
Continue reading Seattle Could See More Backyard Cottages and Mother-In-Laws — What Does that Mean for Housing Affordability?
by Tyler Adamson
Considering the Seattle City Council’s recent conversations on zoning laws, it’s particularly pertinent to dig a little deeper into the topic, especially as it applies to accessibility and the racist and segregatory intent which these laws were originally designed. However, the notion that zoning laws are at the root cause of our disparate housing system is simply short-sighted.
Continue reading OPINION: So-Called Affordable Housing is Still Out of Reach for Many Seattleites