News Capping Condo Conversions
posted by February 7 at 9:53 AMon
An effort by the Seattle Displacement Coalition, the Interfaith Task Force on Homelessness, and the Puget Sound Alliance for Senior Citizens to regulate condo conversions is getting traction in Olympia.
In addition to provisions such as increasing relocation assistance for tenants and prohibiting landlords from starting interior construction until the last tenant is out, which the advocates had gotten into an initial senate bill, they’ve now gotten co-sponsors Sens. Adam Kline, Ken Jacobsen, and Ed Murray (all from Seattle) to add language that would allow cities to limit the number of condo conversions.
Seattle had 2,352 condo conversions last year—a 450% increase since 2004. The result, according to the Displacement Coalition: the loss of 3,900 lower-priced rentals in Seattle in the last two years. Indeed, the average price of new condos is $250,000.
As I reported last week, the advocates were also trying to get a bill going in the house (that would include the conversion-cap idea along with the conversion guidelines in the original senate bill), but Seattle-area house Reps. Jamie Pedersen and Mary Lou Dickerson gave them the cold shoulder.
Well, last night they announced they got Seattle-area liberals Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos (D-37) and Rep. Bob Hasegawa (D-11) along with Rep. Phyllis Kenney (D-46) to co-sponsor a comprehensive bill in the house.
Oh, and the house bill’s prime sponsor? Edmonds-area liberal Rep. Maralyn Chase (D-32).