On March 13th, Futurewise joined Seattle for Everyone coalition partners and neighborhood activists in support of housing affordability at the public hearing on the Downtown/South Lake Union Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) rezone.
The MHA program—a cornerstone recommendation of the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA)—is designed to leverage the growth that Seattle is experiencing to increase the city's stock of affordable homes by requiring new commercial and residential development to either include rent- and income-restricted homes in their buildings or pay into a fund that the City's Office of Housing will use to build them throughout the city. In exchange, developers will receive additional capacity to build through modest zoning changes in Seattle's opportunity-rich urban areas—main thoroughfares and their surroundings that were designated as “urban centers” and “urban villages” over twenty years ago.
The Downtown and South Lake Union neighborhoods are expected to contribute one-third of the overall MHA program goal of 6,300 affordable homes over ten years. The rezone is an opportunity to allow more homes in the most walkable, transit-connected, and opportunity-rich areas of Seattle, and to create 2,100 affordable homes for families and individuals who need them most—that's a win for both housing affordability goals and climate goals.
Read more about the strong show of support for the Downtown/South Lake Union rezone here.
The Seattle City Council Planning, Land Use, and Zoning Committee is likely to vote on the legislation in late March or early April. Use our quick email action to ask them to vote yes!