Tag Archives: Housing

OPINION | Everyone Wants Less Homelessness. Social Housing Offers a Viable Solution.

by Gennette Cordova


We all want less homelessness.

Some people believe that housing should be a basic human right. Others prefer that poverty in their city be out of their line of vision. Counter to narratives centered around addiction and mental illness often spun by The Seattle Times’ editorial board, the newspaper recently acknowledged that the cause of our city’s rampant homelessness is a lack of affordable housing. Rather than debating the morality of reasons rooted in compassion, the shamefulness of reasons based on aesthetics, or the virtue of rationale landing somewhere in between, we can build solutions based on the understanding that tackling homelessness will require us to do something about Seattle’s skyrocketing housing costs. 

Continue reading OPINION | Everyone Wants Less Homelessness. Social Housing Offers a Viable Solution.

Ethiopian Community Village Development to Provide Affordable Housing Units in Rainier Beach

by Ronnie Estoque


The Ethiopian Community in Seattle (ECS) has been developing a 90-unit affordable housing project for seniors in Rainier Beach — the Ethiopian Community Village. Construction began in August of last year. 

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Just What Is Social Housing?

by Erica C. Barnett


Later this year, Seattle voters could take a first step toward building a new kind of permanently affordable, mixed-income public housing known as “social housing.” The House Our Neighbors! Coalition — a project of the housing advocacy organization Real Change — is collecting signatures for Initiative 135 (I-135), which would create a new public development authority (PDA) to build and operate new housing; funding for the PDA would come later, through future State or local legislation.

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Councilmembers Say Better Rent Data Could Preserve Affordable Housing

by Erica C. Barnett

(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted with permission.)


Until 2017, elected officials (and reporters) hoping to get a handle on the availability and cost of rental housing in Seattle relied on reports from a private company called Dupre + Scott, whose forecasts used cheeky videos and graphics to illustrate market predictions and trends. Since Dupre + Scott shut down, the City has relied on Census tract-level data to assess housing trends, including residential displacement — a blunt, high-level instrument that does not account for differences between adjacent neighborhoods that may be in the same Census tract.

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Seattle Renames ‘Single-Family’ Zoning Designation to Emphasize Neighborhood Diversity

by Ben Adlin


In a change meant to recognize the many ways that people interact with residential neighborhoods, the Seattle City Council on Monday, Oct. 4, voted to do away with the city’s “single-family” zoning designation and instead refer to the areas as “neighborhood residential zones.”

The new label is both more inclusive and more accurate, said Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, who sponsored the ordinance along with Councilmember Dan Strauss. It’s also meant to reflect a more holistic view of neighborhood development as the City prepares a forthcoming 2024 update to its comprehensive plan.

“It’s past time to move forward with a name change to update our language so that our planning documents reflect the true character of Seattle neighborhoods,” Mosqueda said, which include “diverse housing, small businesses, and many different types of households.”

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The ‘Lavender Rights Project’ Clarifies Their Community Calling

by Jasmine M. Pulido


Black trans women and nonbinary femmes are the most underserved population within the LGBTQIA+ community.

This is the reality that the Lavender Rights Project (LRP) knew but did not yet know how to effectively address after serving as a grassroots nonprofit law firm for the last five years. This September, on their five-year anniversary, after bringing Black trans women and femmes into new leadership to inform LRP’s strategy, they’re changing their mission to better hone in on this problem.  While they still intend to be inclusive and serve the larger LGBTQIA+ community, they will center their work around Black trans women and nonbinary femmes moving forward. 

“We are hoping to be inclusive of all LGBTQ in our services, but we see focusing in on Black trans women as a method to address all needs of the entire community. When we get it right for Black trans women, we get it right for everyone who reaches out to us for help,” Jaelynn Scott (she/her) said. As LRP’s executive director, Scott exuded a mix of fierce compassion that also somehow felt like a calming balm as she spoke about LRP’s future.

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City Council Forum Addresses Displacement and Exclusionary Zoning

by Andrew Engelson


Seattle City Councilmembers Tammy Morales and Teresa Mosqueda sponsored an online forum on July 22 to explore issues surrounding displacement and exclusionary zoning that could fundamentally change the way Seattle grows in coming decades.

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Compassion Seattle Amendment Faces Scrutiny From Democratic Group and Homeless Advocates

by Chetanya Robinson


During a June 16 town hall discussion organized by the 43rd District Democrats concerning Compassion Seattle’s proposed charter amendment on homelessness, critics who have personally experienced homelessness decried the details and general approach of the proposal. 

As the South Seattle Emerald previously reported, if Compassion Seattle’s amendment passes in November, it would force the City of Seattle to carve a new approach to homelessness directly into its charter. Compassion Seattle is a coalition of nonprofit, business, and community leaders. 

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Seattle Eviction Moratorium Extended as Council Passes More Renter Protections

by Jack Russillo


While Washington’s statewide eviction moratorium is set to expire at the end of June, Seattle’s eviction ban was extended last week through the end of September. This follows passage of other City Council legislation designed to help residents cope with recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Friday, June 18, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced that the city’s eviction moratorium, which applies to both residential and commercial properties, would continue until Sept. 30. Earlier in the month, the Seattle City Council adopted other bills that give certain renters more protections, such as implementing a ban on school-year evictions for school workers and families with children and prohibiting evictions for nonpayment of rent due to financial hardship during the pandemic.

According to the most recent census survey data, about one in seven renters in Washington State feel that they are currently behind on paying rent, with Black (21.9%) and Hispanic (21%) populations disproportionately feeling financial difficulty staying caught up on rent. Only 9.8% of white renters throughout the state, however, feel that they are not caught up on paying for their housing. Additionally, 19.8% of households in the state with children under the age of 18 in the home responded to the survey that they felt they were behind on rental payments, while only 7.1% of households without children present felt they were behind on paying their rent. 

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Weekend Long Reads: What Drives the Cost of Housing?

by Kevin Schofield


This weekend’s “long read” is a discussion of what happens to rental prices when developers build new market-rate housing.

There has been a raging debate the past several years among economists and housing experts on what happens when new market-rate housing is built in a neighborhood: Do rents in neighboring buildings go up, or do they go down? There are two schools of thought on this.

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