Jun 17, 2008

Affordable Housing (MFTE) in Miller area

Our neighborhood has long been interested in maintaining a diversity of housing options in the area. Our low-income housing needs are well served by Capitol Hill Housing, but the rapid redevelopment of our area is surely pricing "those in the middle" out of the neighborhood.

The Mayor has proposed extending the Seattle Homes Within Reach (Multifamily Tax Exemption, aka MFTE) Program, which may address that issue. The legislation is being voted on by the City Council's Housing & Economic Development Committee this Wednesday.

I was approached (separately, very recently) by Councilmember Licata and by the Seattle Displacement Coalition, inviting me as a "Madison-Miller Neighborhood Leader" to express my concerns to the Housing Committee.

It appeared to me (personally) that, while the MTFE legislation may have flaws, it is the best way to stimulate the inclusion of "workforce" housing in the large number of apartments that are going to be built on Madison in the next couple of years.

I therefore wrote personal letters to the Housing Committee in favor of the MTFE legislation.

My act as a "Madison-Miller Neighborhood Leader" (if that's what I am) is to share with you the letters and data from Licata and the Coalition, and my replies to them, and to invite you to testify (in person or by letter/E-mail) to the Committee. BTW here's Licata's take on the issue.

This link should lead you to all the correspondence, and includes contact info for Councilmembers (or use links here). After you've shared your thoughts with the Committee, you might care to post them as comments to this post.

Many thanks for your time,


Andrew Taylor said...

(via E-mail)
Thanks Andrew. FYI, we are very supportive of the MFTE program, and expanding it per the Mayor's proposal (which is opposed by Nick and the Displacement Coalition). We think it is critical to involve private developers in providing housing that is affordable to our workforce, particularly in new projects in rapidly developing and desirable neighborhoods, and this is one important tool. sue
Susan Cary
Director of Asset Management
Capitol Hill Housing
1406 10th Avenue, Suite 101
Seattle WA 98122

Andrew Taylor said...

From Licata's office (with permission):
Lisa Herbold here - the growth targets and goals in the document Nick sent you are for the period 2004-2024. 62% of the M/M growth goals have been met with *constructed* units. (more than 1/2 your goals) Please open the document Nick provided called "Estimated Net New Dwelling Units Built by Year."

Secondly the units that will be built cannot be called "work force housing" with a straight face The need for rental housing affordable to 90% and 100% median income (the Mayor's proposal) is not supported by any research I've seen. The rents in these buildings - that will then get a tax reduction - under the Mayor's proposal can go up to $1668/year for a one bedroom apartment. I'd be happy to review any evidence that there is now or projected to be a shortage of rental housing for people earning between $50K and $56K.

Nick's position is that he supports the 2004 program, not the CHANGES proposed by the Mayor.

(and later)
Eek - I don't want to post that some of your numbers are off. Seems like that would be awfully bad form on my part. I just thought you might want to make some changes yourself.

I should say too that the 2004 program (that Nick supports) builds 60-70% housing. You make reference to the fact that the under 50% population is well served as if to suggest the this is the population Nick suggests MFTE should serve...he does not. An MFTE program to support 60% - 70%, like that Nic k supports, would subsidize a 1 bedroom apt. affordable to 60-70% median income, renting for between $1000-$1,168/month. ~ L

sexy said...