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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor

SUBJECT: Mayor, Cisneros & ULI Seattle kick off “Housing Our Future”

2/14/2007  11:45:00 AM
Marty McOmber, (206) 684-8358
Todd Burley  (206) 684-5081

Mayor, Cisneros & ULI Seattle kick off “Housing Our Future”

Speaker series looks at challenge workers are facing finding housing that they can afford

SEATTLE – Mayor Greg Nickels and the Urban Land Institute Seattle District Council (ULI Seattle) are joining together to present, “Housing Our Future,” a speaker series addressing the increasing challenge that many workers have finding housing that is decent, affordable and close to their jobs. Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros kicks off the series on February 15th discussing the growing disparity between wages and housing costs.

“If you work in Seattle, you should be able to live in Seattle, " said Mayor Nickels. "Creating affordable housing is a fundamental principle that is good for the environment and our economy.”

A new study by the City of Seattle Office of Housing shows about 51 percent of Seattle’s workers live outside of the city. The research also shows households with annual incomes of $60,000 to $100,000 are the least likely to live within city limits.

“There is a significant gap between the income ranges that federal and state guidelines allow us to serve and the income ranges needed to afford homeownership in Seattle,” said Office of Housing Director Adrienne Quinn. “That gap is the focus of this speaker series.”

Due to federal guidelines and state constitutional “lending of credit” limitations the city’s housing programs may only assist people earning 80 percent of the area median income or below - about $41,700 for a one-person household.

The Housing Our Future speaker series highlights the critical issues of environmental and economic health, noting their interconnection with housing availability. Following the Henry Cisneros presentation February 15, the Housing Our Future speaker series welcomes:

  • Urban Land Institute Senior Resident Fellow John McIlwain March 8 discussing the causes and long-term implications of declining housing affordability;
  • Chicago Metropolitan Planning Council Housing Director Robin Snyderman April 17 to address the need for employer assisted housing for a competitive workforce;
  • Chair and CEO of Trammell Crow Residential Ron Terwilliger September 18 to talk about why business leaders should be concerned.

The Housing Our Future kick-off event February 15 will be in the Bertha Knight Landes Room of Seattle City Hall, at 600 Fourth Ave. Registration begins at 5 p.m. and the free public program starts at 5:30 p.m., with Mayor Greg Nickels speaking first followed by Henry Cisneros. A reception follows from 7 to 9 p.m. with entertainment provided by Cornish College of the Arts pianist Mack Grout.

Speaker Henry Cisneros worked under the Clinton Administration to revitalize much of the nation’s public housing including Rainier Vista. Cisneros is now the Chair of CityView, a company that creates homeownership opportunities for working families through the investment of funds provided by Washington Mutual and CalPers. Cisneros is also credited with revitalizing downtown San Antonio, while Mayor of that city for four consecutive terms.

For more information on the speaker series visit:

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Office of Housing

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