One thing that hasn’t changed about Seattle since it’s inception? The developers always win. Look at downtown between Ninth Avenue (or even farther) and the waterfront, and between Yesler Way and Denny Way. Do you see any open space? No.
From day one, it’s always been about development. Currently, there isn’t a housing crisis — plenty has already been built, but there are not enough allowances in all this new construction for affordable housing. The homelessness crisis is mostly a separate issue of mental health or addiction that the city can’t address on it’s own. The state needs to up its ante, but everyone knows it’s way behind the eight ball on this one, with too many years of deferred maintenance on mental-health institutions and care.
Affordable housing might be better achieved through requiring all large buildings to have something like a 20% rate of eligible low-income renters taken care of by rent control or subsidy.
So far, it’s build and they will come, at full rent.
Steve Grappo, Seattle