Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s housing-affordability task force will miss its deadline … again.
The 28-member volunteer Housing Affordability and Livability Advisory (HALA) Committee, charged by Murray last year with drawing up policy recommendations, was initially given until the end of May.
In early May, the panel’s co-chairs, David Wertheimer of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Faith Li Pettis of Pacifica Law Group, requested and were granted a one-month extension until the end of June.
In an email Wednesday, the co-chairs asked Murray for more time.
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“We are requesting that we be allowed to deliver our final report to you no later than Monday, July 13, 2015,” they wrote.
The mayor has agreed, a spokesman said.
The task force has been wrangling over a range of policies, including whether to recommend that the city enact linkage fees for real-estate developers. Members of the City Council have been working on potential solutions, as well.
The mayor has said Seattle needs to create 50,000 units of housing over the next decade, including 20,000 new or preserved units with restricted rents affordable to households making no more than 80 percent of the area’s median income.
“This request reflects that we are extremely close to agreement on a strong set of recommendations that we believe will have substantial impact on the goals and targets that you have set for our work,” the panel’s co-chairs wrote Wednesday.
“What the HALA needs at this point is time to gather additional data that will bolster our case statement, and (hopefully) build strong support for the recommendations,” they added. “We anticipate this will be the last request for an extension.”
In a statement, Murray spokesman Viet Shelton said: “The mayor feels strongly that it’s important to get this right. As negotiations have intensified over the last few weeks, it’s become clear to the mayor that while the (HALA) task force is close very close to reaching a deal, they need just a little bit more time.”