Economics, Not “Social Justice,” is How We Solve Housing Problems

I was sitting a meeting about affordable housing last week hosted by Seattle City Council candidate Lorena Gonzalez. The emphasis was “social justice” and housing. Gonzalez, after listening to a discussion about housing prices and City policy, concluded that the best way to understand and deal with rising housing prices was to look at the […]

Commercial Linkage Hearing: Lots of Love for Fees, Little Support for Upzones

Last night I attended the public hearing for the so called Affordable Housing Impact Mitigation Fee or Commercial Linkage fee associated with the Mayor’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) Committee recommendations. The commercial linkage tax was agreed to by commercial developers because it has made financial sense for those developers to pay a fee […]

Design Review: Room for Improvement 


Last night I attended the first of two community meetings hosted by the City of Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD) on proposed improvements to the Design Review process. Many people, both developers and neighborhoods, are not happy with Design Review. Builders often feel like the process is expensive with very little benefit and […]