Downtown business groups say proposal too high
Whom would new Housing Levy serve?
Donna Steensland never imagined she would end up homeless. It’s just not something she thought could happen to a working person, she says.
For many years, Steensland, 55, was a postal carrier in Monroe and lived what she calls a wonderful life with her husband and a home on six acres. But while delivering the mail one day in 2004, she got hit by a car, requiring two back surgeries and two years of therapy just to walk.
Despite the on-the-job accident, the federal government cut off her workers’ compensation—and the income she relied on for her end of the mortgage. In May 2007, the couple lost their home, then got divorced. Six months later, Steensland says, she moved into Seattle’s Salvation Army shelter and out of the stability she had always known.
“I thought, ‘Oh, my god, what’s happened?’ and cried myself to sleep,” she says.
If it hadn’t been for Seattle voters, she might still be on the streets, she says. But with the help of the YWCA, Steensland moved into Capitol Hill’s Jubilee Women’s Center, a transitional housing program that received funding from the $86 million Seattle Housing Levy passed in 2002.
On April 29, Steensland and others who have gotten housing through the levy stood with Mayor Greg Nickels as he announced a proposal for a new seven-year measure of $145 million that, if the City Council approves it, would go on the November ballot. But it’s already facing resistance from downtown businesses over the amount and questions from housing advocates about the mix of who the levy will serve—people like Steensland who are homeless with little or no income, or wage earners at $45,000 a year who can afford to rent or even buy housing on the market.
The proposal, which the council could change or scale back, as it did with the 2002 levy, would raise the average Seattle homeowner’s property tax $30 a year. The money would go to build or buy 1,670 low-income rental units, provide emergency rent payments to about 4,000 households and make down-payment loans to 180 first-time home buyers.
In a first among the four housing measures that Seattleites have passed since 1981, a new acquisition loan fund would also let affordable housing developers borrow money for the first three years of the levy in order to buy unsold condos, apartment buildings or land while the market is still low.
Except for the acquisition fund, the housing numbers are roughly the same as in the current levy, Nickels says, but, given inflation, it will cost $145 million—a figure, he says, that he reduced from his levy advisory committee’s recommendation of $167 million. Office of Housing Director Adrienne Quinn says the larger amount would have included $9 million more rental units and more funding in each category overall.
In a telephone survey conducted with 800 Seattleites in March, Quinn told councilmembers in a housing levy briefing last week, a wide margin of respondents—73 percent—said a bad economy is the right time to fund low-income housing, compared with 24 percent who said it wasn’t.
Sixty-four percent of those questioned expressed support for the levy before knowing its details, she said, and more than half also picked $167 million as the preferred levy option, compared with 20 percent support for a $144 million levy.
But Seattle’s Building Owners and Maintenance Association, the Downtown Seattle Association and the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce say that, in tough economic times, both are too much.
In letters sent to the mayor, the Building Owners, DSA and the chamber have called for scaling back the levy to $86 million, perhaps reducing it to three or four years or having no levy at all.
In response, Nickels said at his news conference, he reduced his proposal to $145 million. But Rod Kauffman, president of Building Owners’ Seattle-King County chapter, says he’d prefer the number be $107 million. “We very much support renewal of the existing housing levy,” he says, but “the $86 million passed back in 2002 would equate to a levy of $107 million now”
Good morning. We require from buildings two kinds of goodness: first, the doing their practical duty well: then that they be graceful and pleasing in doing it. Help me! I can not find sites on the: Amcor air conditioners. I found only this - best hair Conditioners. Shop bedding, bath and home decor at redbook store store. Compare prices and buy online at bizrate. Thanks for the help :-(, Dominy from Nigeria.
Excuse me. Dan’s was a lot of fun. Thanks. Love and peace. Help me! There is an urgent need for sites: Stock promoters stock picks. I found only this - weekly stock picks services. Jimmie was like a fielding turnover. Cramer traditionally struggled that he can avoid better, and that he should act to win, social stock picks. THX :eek:, Wenda from Ireland.
Come join in the fun downtown for the 14th annual First Night Fort Collins 2010! Enjoy the wonderful and diverse entertainment presented at this non-alcoholic New Year’s testking 1z0-042 Eve celebration.
First Night Fort Collins 2010 promises new performing acts, storytelling, history, interactive craft projects, old favorites,testking N10-004 street performers, international dancing and much testking EX0-101 more!
Blogs are always a main source of getting accurate information JN0-532 and provide you the handy results;you can get instant and reliable information which surely helps cisco braindumps you in any field of your concern.your blogs fulfill these requirement apple certification and I really appreciate it.keep it up doing good work. i will come back here to see more updates in future dell certification exam as well.my best wishes for you always so keep it up.regards
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.