FOLLOWUP: Board convened to take ‘social housing’ from ballot to buildings

Seattle Initiative 135 was approved by voters in February. Then in March, the Seattle Renters Commission sent out a call for people to help turn the measure’s vision of “social housing” into reality. Now the Seattle Social Housing Developer board’s been appointed, and its members gathered today for the first time in an introductory visit with a City Council committee (video above). You can read about them here. The board has 13 members, appointed by organizations and officials as stipulated in I-135:

Seven board members appointed by the Seattle Renters’ Commission
One board member appointed by the Martin Luther King, Jr. County Labor Council
One board member appointed by El Centro De La Raza
One board member appointed by the Green New Deal Oversight Board
One board member appointed by the mayor
Two board members appointed by the Seattle City Council

Though most of the bios don’t mention where the appointees live, this document shows that four of the 13 live in City Council District 1 (which now includes West Seattle, South Park, Georgetown, and part of south downtown) – Ebo Barton, Kaileah Baldwin, Devyn Forschmiedt, and Brian Ramirez. As recapped during this morning’s council-committee meeting, the Social Housing Developer’s startup costs are to be city funded, but where it’s going to get money to start building housing – publicly owned rental housing for multiple income levels – is an open question. The date has not yet been set for the board’s first official meeting, but it has to happen before the end of May.

15 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Board convened to take 'social housing' from ballot to buildings"

  • Mike April 28, 2023 (10:12 pm)

    Don’t worry.  It won’t be long before they hit up we taxpayers for money.  

    • WestSeattleBadTakes April 29, 2023 (2:08 pm)

      I’m not worried, let’s go!

      • Burgerman April 30, 2023 (5:49 pm)

        Not everyone is as wealthy and excited to pay poorly-spent taxes as you apparently are. I’m worried.

  • Just Like Always April 28, 2023 (10:59 pm)

    I look forward to watching this not-at-all-unrealistic concept be implemented years behind schedule after interminable discussions, spend far more money than equivalent existing programs, then inevitably crash and burn but “not because the idea is flawed, we just didn’t do it hard enough” in typical Seattle fashion.  Bonne Chance!

    • WestSeattleBadTakes April 29, 2023 (2:11 pm)

      not-at-all-unrealistic concept

      Translated: “I’ve made up my mind about this, nothing will change it, and I will do nothing to increase my own understanding.”

    • anonyme April 29, 2023 (4:26 pm)

      Exactement! And add “We just need more money to finish the job…”.

  • 1994 April 28, 2023 (11:01 pm)

    Let the fundraising begin. No new taxes and no taxpayer funding.

  • Curios George April 29, 2023 (7:57 am)

    The Sooth Sayer sees another tax a coming…

  • Burro April 29, 2023 (2:18 pm)

    New taxes every year forever! The saddest part is you will vote yes without even thinking about it!

  • Josh April 29, 2023 (8:26 pm)

    One cool thing about the internet is it’s super easy to look up the property tax rate by year and City. Interesting fact, the property tax rate for Seattle is the lowest it’s been in at least 11 years. So to those complaining about new taxes maybe educate yourself before you put yourself on record complaining about something that just isn’t true. 

    • bill April 29, 2023 (9:35 pm)

      This is a bit disingenuous. Increased valuations mean increased taxes even if the rate is unchanged. As for I-135 it only authorized establishment of the entity without funding (thanks to some state law weirdness). Taxes to fund it will be the subject of a forthcoming levy vote, which will bump up the tax rate.

    • Julian April 30, 2023 (2:35 pm)

      Not wanting to be taxed more for something you don’t believe will accomplish anything doesn’t have to have anything to do with historical rates…maybe employ some critical thinking before you try to lecture people “on record”

    • Julian April 30, 2023 (6:06 pm)

      People can not want to pay more in taxes for something they don’t think will accomplish anything without factoring in historical rates.  Maybe consider employing some critical reasoning before going “on record” next time.

      • Josh April 30, 2023 (9:21 pm)

        Your response does not really make any sense so it’s hard to respond back. I’ll try this: It doesn’t matter what you think will happen with your taxes, the property tax rate in the city is not only as low as it’s been in a while but is also lower by far then comparable cities plain and simple. I am seeing many comments on local boards saying Seattle tax rates have risen and keep rising, this is objectively untrue. The belief that people think that nothing will be accomplished with their taxes is less an issue of actual dead holing of money and more a reflection on their personal perspective and media preferences. So far the initiative that these complaints about increased taxes are directed at has cost us nothing. All this complaining is more about feeling than fact. The Venn diagram of people who falsely claim their tax rate is rising and also demand something be done about visible homelessness and an obvious mental health crisis is a circle. 

    • Frog April 30, 2023 (9:20 pm)

      Taxes equal tax rate times assessment.  You could use that cool internet thing to look up what’s happened to assessments in Seattle, and then you might change your mind about what is or isn’t true.

Sorry, comment time is over.