Affordable housing in Seattle is within reach

Did you happen to see the article on Crosscut from Tuesday about affordable housing in Seattle that was co-written by Cary Moon and Michael Eliason? The article, entitled "Seattle could make a dent in housing crisis with its own property" lays out the case for how Mayor Jenny Durkan could build hundreds of afforable apartments on just two blocks of land in South Lake Union that are in the city's possession. It's a good read, so please spend a few minutes reading through it: https://crosscut.com/2018/07/seattle-could-make-dent-housing-crisis-its-own-property

Here's the gist:

"Olympia recently passed House Bill 2382, allowing local governments to transfer surplus property for affordable housing. The high cost of land has been a barrier to affordable housing in our city. This new law removes that barrier, allowing the city to transfer surplus land for free, or below market price, specifically for the development of affordable housing. This month, however, Mayor Jenny Durkan intends to sell the city’s surplus Mercer Mega-block – nearly 3 acres of public land at the corner of Mercer Street and Dexter Avenue N. – to a private developer."

So, our ask is pretty simple:

We think the City of Seattle should retain ownership of the "Mercer Mega-block" and prioritize the construction of affordable housing on this land. Don't let Mayor Durkan sell it off to private developers to build million dollar condos.

Today's Action: Email Mayor Durkan and ask her to build affordable housing in South Lake Union

Mayor Jenny Durkan's email address: jenny.durkan@seattle.gov

Here are some points you may want to mention in your email:

Here's a sample script:

To: jenny.durkan@seattle.gov

Dear Mayor Durkan - I am a constituent of yours, and I live in Seattle in zip code {ZIP CODE}. I saw an article on Crosscut on July 17th that described how, under a new bill passed by the state, you have the power to transfer nearly 3 acres of public land at the corner of Mercer Street and Dexter Avenue N. to developers who will build affordable housing on this parcel.

It has been well-documented that the median rent in Seattle is among the five highest in the country.  The homelessness crisis is only getting worse. As chief executive of our city, you have direct control of city departments that are involved in the homelessness crisis.  Your "Bridge to Housing for All Plan" is a good start, but we need to provide new housing for low-income and homeless individuals and families, not sell off land to result in more high-end housing developers and purchasers.  Please do the right thing and ensure the "Mercer Mega-Block" parcel is developed as affordable housing only.

Thank you,
{YOUR NAME}

Bonus Action

You can also email your City Council member to urge them to tell the Mayor to develop the Mercer Mega-Block as affordable housing. Find them here: https://www.seattle.gov/council/meet-the-council/find-your-district-and-councilmember or just email the entire Council: council@seattle.gov

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RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/1657913504287897/?event_time_id=1657913644287883

This meeting venue is wheelchair-accessible, and can be reached by King County Metro buses 7, 14, 27, and 106, and the First Hill Streetcar.

September 27: Amy Siskind

Seattle Indivisible is proud to welcome author and activist Amy Siskind to Seattle this September 27. Proceeds from this event will be split 50/50 between the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Seattle Indivisible's ongoing voter registration and turnout promotion efforts.

Tickets are available for $10-$14 from Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/an-evening-with-amy-siskind-tickets-47932385054

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