Dori: Politicians create affordable housing crisis, get rich off homelessness

Jun 5, 2018, 9:00 PM
tiny houses, affordable housing crisis...
Tiny houses on display May 30, 2018 as Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced an increased effort to address homelessness with the homes. (Matt Pitman, KIRO Radio)
(Matt Pitman, KIRO Radio)

No region of the country adds as much to the price of housing as Washington state. The affordable housing crisis is due to the cost of government. If people want to look at why our real estate is so high around here, it’s not just supply and demand.

Affordable housing crisis: Making housing anything but affordable

A builder in Issaquah recently sent me a list he has to deal with. It’s called a “construction draw field report” for a house he is building. The report has an impressive list of added fees.

Building permits, $4,000

Sewer fees — $2,025

Water fees – $31,704

Storm fees — $1,256

Site fees — $735

School fees — $7,921

Traffic fees — $8,348

Fire fees — $770

Police fees — $197

Government building fees — $154

Bike and pedestrian fees — $808

Park fees — $5,978

Power and gas fees — $1,200

That’s all on top of the property taxes. Why do you have to pay bike and pedestrian fees when you’re building a house? Does that make any sense? Except that they know they can.

RELATED: Durkan’s plan is just more of the same

You look at all of this. The total of the home is $405,000. But all of the nonsense fees tacked on add about $70,000. My heart breaks for our kids. This is like hitting a 26-year-old couple with a $70,000 tax right off the bat as they try to start their life. That’s just criminal.

All of our government leaders — Jenny Durkan, Jay Inslee, Dow Constantine, Kshama Sawant, Mike O’Brien — claim they care about affordable housing, that they’re so worried about the wage gap and the haves/have-nots. But they’re the ones who have created this with all of the fees they extract from everybody.

I have to keep bringing these things up on a regular basis. I have to point out that we are the worst region in the country when it comes to taxing people, and then we have these phony politicians who lament how unaffordable housing is. They have directly caused that problem.

Politicians always talk about the homelessness crisis here. But do they really want to end homelessness?

Profiting off the homeless

I got a copy of the Low-Income Housing Institute’s 990 form for their latest fiscal year. Homelessness is a racket. It is an industry. It is not designed to get people off the streets and into homes. It is designed to use the sad plight of homeless people to enrich all of the connected people who are in the industry.

The executive director of LIHI, Sharon Lee, reported $195,000 in compensation, plus over $7,000 in “other” compensation. So the director of the Low-Income Housing Institute pulls down over $200,000 a year. Do you think she wants to end homelessness? She’d be out of a job. Their chief financial officer, Lynne Behar, made $149,000, plus $7,300 in “other” compensation. $156,000 to be the CFO of the Low-Income Housing Institute. And their director of housing development makes a total of $113,000. That is just on one tax form.

When they tell us that they have to punish the rich — when they tell Amazon to pay their fair share — it’s so their homeless industry cronies can make their six-figure salaries. And by the way, if you’re making that much money, shouldn’t you be somewhat good at your job? But homelessness has gotten so much worse under the watch of people like this. They’re making that kind of money in the city where homelessness is on the fastest increase.

All of this — the head tax, the job tax, the housing fees — are to enrich the cronies of the Democratic Party. The progressives loathe the wealthy — unless it’s their close friends getting these jobs. Until we get rid of all of these phonies, I’ll keep exposing this stuff. Until we get people who really want to solve the problems instead of fattening their own wallets, we’ll never have a chance around here.


Dori Monson on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM
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Dori: Politicians create affordable housing crisis, get rich off homelessness