by Jesse Kennemer
This op-ed was originally published on June 15, 2023. In the spirit of Giving Tuesday, we are republishing a series of inspiring articles and op-eds that highlight the incredible ways in which community giving, generosity, and compassion have transformed lives — and remind us of the ongoing challenges and critical work that still lies ahead. These stories are not just narratives; they are testaments to the strength and compassion that flourish in our community when we support each other.
On Thursday afternoons in my one-bedroom apartment, steam rises from the stock pot that towers over the electric-coil stove. It’s filled to the brim; every serving is accounted for. Just before 7:00 p.m. I wipe down the counter, fan out clear to-go containers like playing cards, and start ladling, lidding, and packing. Then the rest of the team arrives in ones and twos outside my patio gate and loads a foldable wagon. Hot food, of course, but also water, socks, T-shirts, underwear, hand warmers, cigarettes, lighters, Narcan, first-aid supplies, blankets. Then we head down Broadway to offer up the supplies to anyone who wants them.
Continue reading OPINION | Hot Food and Dry Socks Are No Substitute for Housing
A roundup of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!
curated by Vee Hua 華婷婷
Last Updated on February 15, 2023, 3:58 pm.
Continue reading NEWS GLEAMS | Social Housing Initiative Leads After Initial Count; Democracy Vouchers Available Soon; Shin Yu Pai Is New Seattle Civic Poet
by Kaileah Baldwin, Puget Sound Sage
Seattle needs more, and more varied, solutions to address our ever-growing housing and homelessness crisis — and I-135 gives us another tool in the toolbox. Our current solutions are insufficient and we’re seeing it across our city. The number of unhoused people in Seattle continues to be on the rise since homelessness was declared a state of emergency in 2015, and shows signs of getting worse in the economic aftermath of COVID-19. In 2021, 47% of Seattle renters paid 30% or more of their income toward housing, the point at which many housing advocates consider a household to be rent-burdened. In 2022, King County saw 13,000 people unhoused in a single night. I-135 presents a new solution to address Seattle’s crises of displacement and homelessness.
Continue reading OPINION | Seattle Deserves a New Kind of Housing
by Otis Golden
As a paraeducator at “the crown jewel of the South End,” Rainier Beach High School, I know one of the biggest barriers to closing the achievement gap that educators face today is — affordable housing.
Continue reading OPINION | I-135 Isn’t Just About Housing, It’s About Our Students Too
by Ronnie Estoque
On Jan. 29, the 43rd District Democrats and Tech 4 Housing hosted a concert at Neumos that featured performances from various local artists such as Hollis, Tomo Nakayama, and Black Stax. The event was organized to galvanize support for the social housing-centered Initiative 135 (I-135), which will be decided by voters via ballot on Feb. 14 in a special election. The Yes on I-135 campaign is led by a Real Change political committee called House Our Neighbors.
Continue reading Social Housing Concert at Neumos Rallies for I-135 Support
by Justin Carder
(This article originally appeared on the Capitol Hill Seattle Blog and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
The backers of I-135 to create a new public developer “to build, acquire, own, and manage social housing” in Seattle say they have successfully gathered enough signatures to place the initiative on the ballot — but the vote won’t come until 2023.
Continue reading Seattle Will Vote on Creation of New ‘Social Housing’ Authority in 2023
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.
by Ben Adlin
House Our Neighbors, the campaign pushing to bring social housing to Seattle, said that its ballot measure, Initiative 135, is unlikely to go before voters this November. But with no end in sight to the city’s runaway housing costs, organizers are still determined to put the proposal on the ballot as soon as possible.
Continue reading With November Ballot in Question, Seattle’s Social Housing Campaign Soldiers On
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.
Continue reading Just What Is Social Housing?