Category Archives: housing

The reports are in on proposed new rules on backyard cottages

Council member Mike O’Brien’s proposal to increase the number of mother-in-law apartments and “backyard cottages” has been on hold for over two years, since the Hearing Examiner ruled in late 2016 that a full Environmental Impact Statement was required. The final EIS was published last week, and once the inevitable appeals are dealt with that hurdle will have been crossed. But later this week, O’Brien’s office will hold a special meeting to discuss a Racial Equity Toolkit evaluation of the proposal that looked on how it will affect underserved communities at risk of displacement.

Let’s look at what the final EIS and the RET report say.

Continue reading The reports are in on proposed new rules on backyard cottages

Rentberry case moves forward to a possible quick conclusion

In June, Rentberry filed for a preliminary injunction to block the City of Seattle’s prohibition on rent-bidding platforms. But last month, the company and the city agreed to set  that motion aside and proceed directly to cross-motions for summary judgment. Rentberry’s new motion was filed last Friday.

Continue reading Rentberry case moves forward to a possible quick conclusion

At citywide MHA committee meeting, Office of Housing tries to debunk misconceptions

On Monday, the Select Committee on Citywide Mandatory Housing met to discuss the status of the Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) plan and to respond to public concerns. The Office of Housing (OH) spent much of its time addressing two common concerns: the public’s preference for “performance” over “payment,” and where OH should be able to spend money raised through payments.

Continue reading At citywide MHA committee meeting, Office of Housing tries to debunk misconceptions

County commits to new Northgate TOD RFP by end of month (UPDATED)

Two weeks ago, I reported that King County Metro had pulled the plug on an RFP for a transit-oriented development (TOD) project in Northgate, infuriating Council member Juarez.

Today the Seattle Times reports that in a letter to Juarez, her colleague Council member Mosqueda, and Mayor Durkan, the county has committed to issuing a new RFP by July 31st. It also says that the County land to be used for affordable housing must be provided to the nonprofit developer at no cost, and that the amount of required affordable housing units will be increased from what was in the original RFP.

UPDATED: This afternoon Juarez released a statement on King County’s decision:

“With two hospitals, a college and major a shopping center, Northgate is widely recognized as being important to the City as a whole.  Today’s decision by the King County Executive further underscores that North Seattle can – and should – be a shining example for other neighborhoods and institutions who are watching to see how Northgate transit-oriented development will unfold and enhance the region,” said Debora Juarez, District 5 – North Seattle.  “Furthermore NGTOD will serve as a model for development which can be replicated elsewhere around Seattle to include transit-oriented childcare and other aspects of city living that are vital to our region, including District 5.”