Time to Email, Call, and Write Mayor Durkan and the City Council
Tell Mayor Durkan that while the vision sounds good (we all want more affordable housing, both subsidized and naturally occurring), the devil is in the details. And the details do not support passing the Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) legislation.
Mayor Durkan and City Council need to hear from the people of Seattle before the final MHA hearing (which is February 21, during Seattle Public Schools winter break).
Please email, call, and write Mayor Durkan and our City Council members with your concerns and ask them to VOTE NO on the MHA Legislation.
Here is why:
Despite input from neighborhoods all over Seattle, the MHA legislation has remained pretty much the same since it was first proposed. The City’s propaganda paints a story that the MHA Legislation is the only way to increase affordable housing in Seattle. What the city does not tell you is that it displaces as much as it replaces, that it does not work to grow the city in a way that simultaneously grows livability and quality of life, and that the fee-in-lieu payments are ridiculously low. Also, there is no adequate “claw-back” provision to revert the zoning back to present definitions should the City be sued and the mandatory part of MHA be found to be unlawful (leaving the up-zones in effect, increasing rents and property taxes, without any affordable housing units!).
Please email and call Mayor Durkan:email@example.com; 206-684-4000; Mayor Jenny Durkan, PO Box 94749, Seattle, WA 98124-4749.
Please email and call City Council: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org; 206-684-2489; Seattle City Council, PO Box 34025, Seattle, WA 98124-4025.
Save the Date: Please plan to attend the only Public Hearing for the MHA legislation on Thursday February 21, 5:30 PM at Seattle City Hall in Council Chambers. Come early to sign up to testify.
If you can, attend the final consideration of the MHA legislation before the Select Committee on Monday February 25, 2:30 PM and before the Full Council on Monday March 18, 2:00 PM at Seattle City Hall in Council Chambers. Come early to sign up to testify.
Impacts here in Wallingford:
- If MHA passes, properties in the Wallingford Urban Village change from Single-Family to Lowrise-1, Lowrise-2, and even Lowrise-3 zoning (See maps below).
- If MHA passes, 700 single-family homes will be up-zoned to multi-family zones.
- If MHA passes, massive developments will be allowed next to houses. Many of the up-zones change building heights from three stories up to five stories!
- If MHA passes, set-backs and step-backs to preserve yards, trees, and sunlight remain inadequate and may be greatly reduced by up-zoning.
- If MHA passes, no affordable housing units will be required to be built on-site, and the fee-in-lieu payments provide a further discount to developers.
- If MHA passes, it will decrease housing diversity and will drive families out of the urban villages. There are no requirements to build true family-sized three-bedroom housing.
- If MHA passes, it will drive out local small businesses as there are no requirements for affordable leases in new buildings.
- If MHA passes, property taxes increase for all up-zoned properties as adjacent properties are developed.
- If MHA passes, rents will increase as new market-rate units are built.
- If MHA passes, no on-site parking will be required in multi-unit buildings.
- If MHA passes, the true displacement of low- and middle-income residents, and small businesses will go unknown as there is no requirement to track existing affordable housing and leases.
- Whether or not MHA passes, the City (alone among Washington cities) will not have any Impact Fees to fund schools, parks, roads, and public safety!
Why all the fuss? New to the HALA Grand Bargain MHA proposal?
- MHA Concerns – Wallingford Community Council.
- MHA Q&A – Seattle Coalition for Affordability, Livability and Equity.
- Political trouble was ‘baked into the cake’ of Seattle’s sweeping upzoning plan – Seattle Times, December 5, 2018.
- The Mandatory Housing Affordability Program will Worsen Seattle’s Housing Crisis – Seattle Times, December 6, 2018.
- Solutions to Seattle’s Housing Emergency by the Community Housing Caucus (a government led task force).