News Feb 14, 2023 at 9:00 am

The People Potentially Responsible for Funding the Program Don’t Want to Talk About It

Who would want to support this kinda thing? Not a majority of City leaders, that's for sure. AH_FOTOBOX / GETTY



Maybe the unpopularity of the sitting City Council members is causing the supporters among them to keep their traps shut about it.


Nobody wants to talk about it because its a really stupid idea.

It hasn't worked, it doesn't work and why repeat a duplicative program riddled with failure.

The city should not build or manage low income housing... it has no talent in these areas and the history is one of abject failure. There are better options out there... and don't involve the needless, useless, flabby arms of government mucking up the matter.


@2 “The City” does not build or manage this social housing. The PDA does. It’s a separate entity, that’s the whole reason a popular vote is needed. Maybe read up a lil more before mansplaining.


@3 - I support the city/state building public housing. But it has to be done sensibly. I read the entire initiative, and I really couldn't tell how exactly they planned to build anything or what it would end up costing us. They spent far more ink on the provisions preventing the authority from booting out people who cause problems or, checking whether anyone would attempt to pay the rent before moving in, or having any other kind of accountability for the tenants. Therefore, I'm a NO.

Bring up a proposal that tells us what it would do and how to pay for it, and doesn't contain provisions that guarantee the housing would turn into drug-infested slums, and I'll change my mind.


Uninformed opinions from the “Seattle is Dying” crowd aside, it’s the governance model that tipped the scales to a no vote for me. We need board members with finance and development background, we need board members with public accountability, we need a properly functioning organization before we tack on untested application of ideals into the bylaws. It would be radical enough to have a self sustaining, public housing market. This initiative is giving all kinds of Monorail vibes and we know how that ended.


“Only four council members responded to my questions: Council Members Andrew Lewis, Tammy Morales, Lisa Herbold, and Kshama Sawant. They’re all voting yes.”

So, of the less than half of the Council Members who responded, no more than half will be on the Council next year. Social Housing is off to a great start, yeah.

“But the initiative does not require the City to keep throwing money at the PDA or find an ongoing funding source to keep it afloat.”

So, maybe Real Change / HON should have put a funding mechanism in I-135, then?


@4, 100%.


Maybe we should just drive a stake in the heart of this poorly thought out initiative and kill it in the cradle.

This time the far left has conceived a monster. Its poorly designed, defined and structured... and that on top of that... this just duplicates existing programs that are highly ineffectual.

No, I say shoot to kill.


We need attention on many bills in Olympia, unlike an initiative with no financial plan. I think the wealth tax bill just had it's time to get comments this morning.


Social Housing has a proven record. It works. It treats people like human beings.

Right now the city treats homeless like they are criminals with brutal police sweeps.
How many people are you willing to let die when you vote no?

11 We are letting corrupt politicians and corporations slide by without tight rules. Yet you think so little of the people of this city that you are unwilling to give them a chance.


Many are talking about it. You are not paying attention.


@12 Voting Yes or No on this measure will do nothing for homeless people. It's mixed income units... so only a small fraction will go to those at the very, very bottom. We can't even build enough for the homeless right now and you think this is going to make a dent? You are dreaming.

Oh, and did you not see the meth lab at the encampment the other day? And the assaults. And the murders. Don't want to be treated like a criminal? Don't be a criminal. Sweep away.


@12 Public Housing is not effective and has a long sad history.

Re-branding it "social housing" with this ridiculous and poorly thought out initiative is a very wrong thing at the worst possible time.

The entire homeless program in this city doesn't work... its self evident. You pour millions in and out come more and more drug addicts and even more homeless.

I think you need to approach the problem as a drug addiction problem. Say it. Recognize it and then you have to make some very, very real decisions which will indeed be taking individuals either voluntarily or by the rule of law into meaningful and extensive treatment. An addict can't live in social housing, nor pay rent... so this is a non-starter.

The catch and release or pat on the head and here is free housing approach isn't working and will not work.

Isolate the addicts in treatment facilities, treat the addiction, rehabilitate ... only then you can move forward with a housing program once they are cured and off drugs. A drug addict can't function, pay rent or survive in the real world...... you just have to quit fooling yourself in believing they can.


There’s multiple options for housing and getting people off the streets, with minimal requirements or rules for them to follow. If people are dying it’s from refusing service or not knowing the services are available. To fix this, we need more social workers to help the homeless with benefit connections to help urge the homeless to accept help. The problem isn’t lack of housing options (we have too many that it’s overwhelming and difficult to navigate). The fix is audit, reorg and reallocate the existing billion we’re spending on the homeless.


The cold hard fact is we need to be building more housing four times faster than we are now.

There is no "market solution" and the existing organizations can't keep up with demand, and rents are way up (Hawaii is worse).

But keep imagining we don't need to:
A. Restore 65 foot MFH zoning citywide (as we had before 1933);
B. Expand housing more than the existing pool of funding;
C. Build mixed-income housing; and
D. Stop with insane parking requirements, design review, and other stuff that makes it take DECADES to build here instead of months.

I'm sure the powers that be will all be upset that they don't get to steal the I-135 funding to use for their own Housing For Billionaires Millionaires and SROs for Poors that is not meeting the needs.

Let's hope they don't kill off the funding like they did when they axed the citywide Monorail.


Requiring background checks, etc in practice means that anybody who society deems "undesirable" (a constantly evolving definition which is unduly influenced by the politically powerful, see also: Nixon's war on drugs) is not allowed to have decent housing.

Housing is a human right.


14 Prove it Scottie. It has helped eliminate homelessness in Europe.


I, despite being one of those evil single family homeowners on a 5000 square foot lot, voted for this. I was a little hesitant, because it had absolutely no funding mechanism that I could see, but I figured we'd have to vote on it again once they figured out a budget. That's when the rubber will hit the road.


@15 the drug/homelessness problem can be true, but housing affordability is much more expansive than that. There are thousands of working poor separate from the encampments who can benefit from stable housing. Paying that much for rent is a drag on the economy, our transportation system, and contributes to the high price of everything in Seattle. Think a little bigger than “homelessness is not my problem,” housing affordability touches everything.


I hope I-135 and the PDA all work out for the best. If successful this can be a model for communities up and down the West Coast struggling with unaffordable housing. The Mayor and City Council where I live need to be taking notes on the outcome of this special election. We're in Seattle's rearview mirror regarding the current homeless crisis, and lack of affordable housing. It's a situation that can't wait decades to resolve.
@4 dvs99 and @5 & @22 Totoman: I hear what you're saying, though. The vagueness of available funding and Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell's being silent would concern me, too. I agree--the death of a citywide Monorail is indeed tragic. It could have done wonders in getting congestion off I-5.
@21 Catalina Vel-DuRay: Good for you for supporting affordable housing! I remember you had mentioned in a previous SLOG thread that currently there's a lot of construction in your neighborhood.


@19 Ivy R. Nightscales, re @14: Ignore him. He's trolling without a cause or any idea of a viable solution.


Griz-I’m STILL pissed off about the monorail getting killed! It would have been way cheaper and more useful than our light rail.


@21 Um, mistake. I think you are wise beyond your years, however many they may be, but this issue won't be ending well. More property tax and/or more business tax. and courtesy of Jamie Pedersen, a spanking brand new income tax! Yipppeee!

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