Join the Movement for Affordable Housing

Dear Friends & Fellow District 3 Residents,

Our city is growing wealthier by the day and yet is fast becoming unaffordable for most working families. Everywhere I go, I hear stories of workers, students, and seniors who are struggling to get by and of local small businesses getting displaced.

Seattle has been the construction crane capital for three years running. But far from solving the housing crisis, the for-profit housing market has exacerbated it. Nearly half of Seattle renters are cost burdened, home prices are off the charts, and many working people are one rent increase or small financial crisis away from being economically evicted and displaced. Meanwhile, big developers and mega-corporations like Amazon are making record profits.

Housing unaffordability falls especially hard on working families of color, immigrants, the indigenous community, and LGBTQ people - communities that are also in the crosshairs of Trump and the right wing.

Sign Up to Fight for Affordable Housing!

Ordinary renters and homeowners shoulder the burden of Washington State's deeply regressive tax system, while big business and the super-wealthy enjoy one of the lowest tax rates in the nation.

Yet the Mayor and majority of the Seattle City Council shamefully repealed the Amazon Tax earlier this year - an emergency measure which would have funded hundreds of affordable housing units annually by modestly taxing the largest 3 percent of Seattle's corporations. And now the Mayor has proposed a big-business-friendly budget with less than 1 percent for affordable housing, instructing ordinary Seattleites that we must "live within our means."

Clearly, what's lacking isn't money, but political will. That is why I am joining together with community organizations, unions, and neighborhood activists to fight for a People's Budget: a budget that prioritizes human needs and invests in affordable housing, tenants' rights, and municipal oadband - a budget that supports small businesses and immigrants, and replaces youth incarceration with restorative justice.

The People's Budget movement and my office have put together three proposals to fund the annual construction of hundreds of units of social housing - high quality, publicly owned affordable housing for working people, as a public alternative to the failed for-profit housing market.

  • Social Housing with a Bond: The City could take out a $480 million bond, allowing us to immediately build 3,000 to 5,000 homes.
  • Social Housing with the Amazon Tax: The City could pass a big-business tax like the Amazon Tax. This could build hundreds of homes every year. 
  • Social Housing by Diverting Wasteful or Harmful Expenditures: The City could fund hundreds of homes annually by reducing Mayor, Councilmember, and City of Seattle executive salaries, ending the sweeps of homeless people, slowing down new police hiring, and eliminating spending on expensive new computers in police cruisers.

But we will need a movement to win. So I hope you will sign up to stay involved & come to the People's Budget Affordable Housing Rally on Wednesday, November 7.  Join us in fighting for an affordable and socially just city!


Councilmember Kshama Sawant's Signature

Kshama Sawant
Seattle City Councilmember | District 3