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Affordable Housing

Affordable housing is barely available in SeattleThe City Council can support infill, increase density allowances, speed-up approval of mother-in-law/backyard cottage permits, encourage mixed-use developments, rezone industrial areas where possible, and explore minimalist housing designs. Some combination of these approaches would increase supply should reduce demand.

Simplifying requirements for small project approval would allow steady buttempered expansion of residential neighborhoods. Mixed use developments lessen the strain on infrastruture and should be encouraged with an eye toward creating economically viable homes for the middle class.

Residential developments could require new projects contain equal number of affordable units as there before. Another approach would be to increase the amount of required affordable housing contribution as the square footage of the units increases. This would encourage the development of smaller affordable units.

 Commercial developments could be required to fund affordable housing based on the number of new employees. Commercial space requires expanded infrastructure and services as transportation resources become more strained.

Increased financial support for affordable housing may be the better choice than enacting rent controls.

Minimalist housing options must be explored. This provides a neccesary new dimension to urban living. How small a residence does our building code allow? We need to give an incentive to architects to work on designing comfortable residence buildings with smaller square footage. These could be attract younger renters as well as people happy to live with minimal space. This could bring longterm benefits by helping people explore how much space they truly do need.

There is a big problem with the loss of affordable housing properties. Such losses maintain and isolate people who contribute substatially to our community and are not well rewarded financially. We can encourage developers to employ architectural approaches which will help prevent the gentrification of Seattle as well as restrain blanket approaches where entire neighborhoods are transformed.

Everyone will feel cultural the loss if the diversity of artists and writers and young families and senior citizens and tradespeople are priced out of our community. The city as a whole will benefit as will the arts of architecture and metropolitan development if we find a place for everyone.


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