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Our housing team at 350 Seattle, dedicated to working to prevent the worst of the coming climate catastrophe, has a saying: “The housing crisis is a climate crisis is a housing crisis.” Carbon footprints of folks exiled to the suburbs are up to four times those of smaller city units.

We wrote detailed comments on the draft environmental impact statement on the carbon impacts of the new backyard-cottage legislation. We believe it will result in smaller, greener and more affordable units, as opposed to the teardowns followed by high-carbon McMansions currently prevalent in our single-family neighborhoods. Sure enough, the highly rigorous final environmental impact statement found exactly that.

We look forward to working with the city of Seattle to ensure that the accessory dwelling unit legislation is implemented with an equity lens to ensure increased access to housing for impacted communities, and we are confident that this gentle increase in density will be the right thing for our neighborhoods, the planet and our children’s future.

Alice Lockhart, Seattle, 350 Seattle housing team