Category Archives: housing

Picking up the pieces: Despite Burgess’ exit, the AirBnB legislation lives on

Despite the fact that Tim Burgess has moved up to the 7th floor to inhabit the Mayor’s office, his long-in-the-works ordinance regulating short-term rentals (a la AirBnB, VRBO, and other companies) is far from dead.

Continue reading Picking up the pieces: Despite Burgess’ exit, the AirBnB legislation lives on

The Council is holding a public hearing tonight. This one matters.

The Council’s Planning, Land Use and Zoning Committee is holding a public hearing tonight on two issues: the proposed MHA rezone of the Uptown urban center, and some potential changes to the way that design reviews are done.

Many of the Council’s public hearings are perfunctory: the Council members already have a good idea how they plan to vote, and the most that commenters can hope for are to get some minor tweaks to the legislation.  But as of last Friday when the PLUZ committee met to discuss the two topics, there are some big open issues that the Council is scratching its collective head over.

Continue reading The Council is holding a public hearing tonight. This one matters.

Understanding the Fair Chance Housing ordinance

Last week the Seattle City Council passed the Fair Chance Housing ordinance, which prohibits most Seattle landlords from using criminal background to deny housing to prospective tenants. Yesterday morning, Mayor Ed Murray signed the bill into law. The bill was not without controversy, and it’s worth understanding the rationale behind it as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the arguments.

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A missed opportunity that never really was

Yesterday afternoon the Council voted to declare a piece of city property to be surplus, and to allow the official owner, Seattle City Light, to sell it. Selling off surplus city property is a fairly regular occurrence, but for many reasons this one stands out as a rather frustrating exception.

Continue reading A missed opportunity that never really was

City puts $30M of homeless response funding out to bid

For the first time in ten years, the City of Seattle is bidding out $30 million of homelessness funding through an open RFP process.  It’s using the RFP as a chance to rewrite the rules for service providers — and more importantly to ratchet up the requirements placed upon them.

Continue reading City puts $30M of homeless response funding out to bid