What the 2020 census data tells us about housing in Seattle

This is the second in a series of articles diving into the 2020 Census and what it reveals about Seattle. The first article looked at the impact on the upcoming City Council redistricting. This one looks at the housing data and how the numbers have changed over the past ten years. Future articles will look at changes in the racial and ethnic makeup of Seattle’s residents, and how each individual Council district has changed over the past ten years.

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U.S. Supreme Court strikes down CDC eviction moratorium, and undermines local moratoriums in the process

The big legal news yesterday was a 6-3 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that dissolved the CDC’s most recent version of a moratorium on evictions during the COVID-19 emergency. That in itself was not surprising, as the Court had signaled earlier in the summer that it was heading in that direction.  But buried in its ruling are two paragraphs that quietly undermine state and local moratoriums as well, including those in effect in Washington and Seattle.

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U.S. Supreme Court moves the goalposts on property takings, and there may be local repercussions for renters and landlords

This morning the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling on a case involving a California regulation that granted union representatives access to private employers’ work sites for up to 3 hours a day, 120 days per year, in order to recruit and organize. The Court ruled that the government-granted access is a “taking” of property, and thus was subject to the Takings Clause of the U.S. Constitution. In clarifying the rules around a grey area of property rights jurisprudence — and arguably moving the goalposts in favor of property owners — the Court may have also shifted the balance of …

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City rolls out $30 million “strategic investment fund” RFP for anti-displacement efforts

It’s been a big week for investments in Seattle’s BIPOC communities. First, the City Council approved $1 million to allow the Office for Civil Rights to move the $30 million participatory budgeting program forward; then yesterday the Mayor’s Equitable Communities Initiative Task Force unveiled their recommendations for how to invest another $30 million. Now this morning, Mayor Durkan announced the release of an RFP for proposals for land and property acquisition “to respond to disproportionate displacement pressures impacting black, Indigenous, and people of color communities.”

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Is the MHA program working?

Earlier this month, the City of Seattle’s Office of Housing issued its annual report on the MHA program, which requires developers to contribute to the city’s efforts to build more affordable housing. Now that the program has been running for a few years, it’s an apt time to look at how it’s doing.

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