Shelter / News
Mayor Murray Will Convene Another Big Committee, This Time to Tackle Affordable Housing
by Ansel Herz
on Tue, Jul 22, 2014 at 5:31 PM
WORKFORCE HOUSING Tenants protested last week, and sure enough, the deal to sell their building to a for-profit developer fell through.
Mayor Murray says he grew up in a working-class family in West Seattle and that his family could not afford to live in the city today. Now that the Squire Park Plaza in the Central District isn't going be to sold off to a private developer—for now—what does the mayor plan to do make this city affordable? Go read my piece for this week's paper:
As for the rest of the city, the mayor plans to convene another of those grand-bargain-style stakeholder committees—forcing property developers, affordable-housing advocates, low-income tenants, and "people who work here but can't afford to live here" all into one room—to hash out a major plan to "keep this city affordable." Murray has had success with this method on the minimum wage and the fight between rideshare companies and taxi drivers. In both cases, the committees (after delays and much hemming and hawing) produced compromise proposals. Then the city council approved them as law. Murray expects the council to officially empanel this new committee before the end of the summer.
On the issue of housing, however, "It'll be far more difficult than the last two processes," Murray warns.