The Seattle Planning Commission will host leaders in labor, environmentalism, development, smart growth and affordable housing at an Affordable Housing Forum this Thursday. The forum will include the release of the Commission’s Affordable Housing Action Agenda, which contains nine key strategies for increasing the amount of affordable housing in Seattle.
The Action Agenda represents the culmination of a year-long effort by the Commission to develop a comprehensive strategy addressing Seattle’s growing lack of affordable housing. The Agenda provides concrete tools for policymakers to begin creating more affordable housing in Seattle immediately.
“As housing prices skyrocketed in recent years, we have become concerned that Seattle is not growing in a sustainable manner,” said Commission Vice-Chair Linda Amato. “Housing costs are creating more traffic and carbon emissions as workers move further away of our city, less diversity among Seattle residents, and difficulty for major employers to recruit the best qualified.We believe that accepting a city without sufficient affordable housing is simply a bad way to plan for the future of Seattle, and we know something needs to be done soon in order to solve the problem.”
The forum will begin with opening remarks from David Freiboth of the King County Labor Council and Aaron Hoard of the University of Washington. Commissioners will present the Action Agenda, followed by a panel discussion on the Agenda, including: Sara Nikolic, Futurewise; Sarah Lewontin, Housing Development Consortium; Hal Ferris, Urban Land Institute; Val Thomas, Val Thomas Inc.; Ben Gitenstein, Washington Low-Income Housing Alliance; and Dan Stonington, Cascade Land Conservancy. A discussion session with attendees will follow.
The Seattle Planning Commission is an independent voluntary advisory body appointed by the Mayor, City Council, and the Commission itself. The Commission advises the Mayor, City Council and City departments on broad planning goals, policies and plans for the physical development of the City. The Commission’s work is framed by the Comprehensive Plan and its vision for Seattle into the 21st Century, and by a commitment to engaging citizens in the work of planning for and working to reach these goals.