Seattle mayor goes after developers in affordable housing plan

Jul 13, 2015, 12:26 PM | Updated: 4:15 pm
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is calling for developers to reserve five to seven percent of every new mul...
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is calling for developers to reserve five to seven percent of every new multi-family building for affordable housing. (MyNorthwest file photo)
(MyNorthwest file photo)

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray wants developers to reserve 5 to 7 percent of every new multi-family building for affordable housing.

“We are pleased today to announce that our plan for a more affordable housing in Seattle will lead to 50,000 new housing units citywide over the next decade and triple the production of affordable housing units, resulting in an 20,000 additional affordable housing units in the city of Seattle,” Murray said in a news conference on Monday.

The mayor said developers could opt to contribute to a fund for off-site construction of the units.

The new units would be made available for residents earning up to 60 percent of King County’s Area Median Income (AMI).

Murray said this year, 60 percent of AMI is $37,680 for an individual and $53,760 for a family of four. Rent for a new building on Capitol Hill averages $1,887. In 2015, Murray said individuals with incomes of 60 percent of AMI pay $1,008 for income-restricted apartments.

Developers will also pay a Commercial Linkage Fee, phased in over three years, to help fund affordable housing. It’ll range from $5 to $14 per square foot and depend on the size and location of the new development.

Murray said Mandatory Inclusionary Housing and the Commercial Linkage Fee will eventually lead to the construction of at least 6,000 new affordable homes over 10 years.

The mayor said new buildings will have taller height restrictions for multifamily residential, mixed-use and commercial zones. Most of those buildings will be built in Urban Centers and Urban Villages, designated two decades ago as the preferred location for denser housing.

And single-family zoning may not be impacted as much as some originally thought when a draft of the HALA plan was leaked last week.

Despite an early draft report, Murray says single-family zoning will represent 61 percent of all land in Seattle. It currently represents 65 percent.

The 28-member Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) advisory committee spent 10 months of work developing 65 recommendations. The committee is made up of “affordable housing advocates, community voices, developers and housing experts appointed by the mayor and Seattle City Council,” Murray said.

Local News

Police follow protesters as they move through the city during racial justice protests on November 3...
Hanna Scott

Report on 2020 protests recommends new training for SPD, debunks “mob psychology”

SPD’s approach to the 2020 protests underutilized de-escalation through dialogue and relied on indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force.
11 hours ago
New fencing keeps park users away from the cliff edge at the Gig Harbor viewpoint on the Outer Loop...
Graham Johnson, Theresa Robinson

Point Defiance outer loop closes to cars due to instability

Metro Parks Tacoma closed the outer loop of Five Mile Drive in Point Defiance Park in Tacoma on Thursday afternoon, days after announcing the change.
11 hours ago
SDOT Light Rail Ped...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Pedestrian struck, injured by Link light rail train in south Seattle

A pedestrian was struck and injured by a Link light rail train Wednesday afternoon in south Seattle.
1 day ago
(Photo courtesy of King County)...
Frank Sumrall

King County executive initiates plan to conserve and save the region’s wilderness

King County executive announced a plan to protect 65,000 acres of forests, farmland, and greenspace, raising property taxes in the process.
1 day ago
MyNorthwest Staff

Drought may impact most of Pacific Northwest this summer

Drought is expected to impact much of the Pacific Northwest this summer, impacting areas throughout eastern Washington, southern Oregon and southern Idaho.
1 day ago
(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)...
Frank Sumrall

SPD report discovers 80% of 911 calls were for non-criminal events

After reviewing more than 1.2 million 911 calls from 2017 to 2019, the Seattle Police Department (SPD) found 79.7% of calls were for non-criminal events.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles


Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
Seattle mayor goes after developers in affordable housing plan