Seattle is facing a severe housing crisis and District 3 is at its epicenter. The for-profit housing model is not working, with big developers and speculators pushing workers and even middle-class families out of the city. Meanwhile, the City Council is working on behalf of big business rather than ordinary renters and homeowners.
● We need rent control as an immediate step to address the crisis of out-of-control rents. The city council should immediately pass a resolution demanding the state government remove the ban on rent control, and bring a legal challenge to it. Most importantly, tenants, unions, and community organizations need to organize, building for major protests in Olympia to demand an end to the undemocratic state ban. (See answers to Frequently Asked Questions about rent control.)
UPDATE: We won! In reaction to our movement, the City Council has passed a resolution demanding that the state lift the ban on rent control!
● Make big developers pay the maximum “linkage fee” possible to help fund affordable housing.
● Working and middle-class people need an affordable alternative to the skyrocketing private housing market! The city should provide a public option by building thousands of high-quality, city-owned housing units, rented at below-market rates. This can be financed by selling municipal bonds and making use of currently vacant city land.
● Seattle needs a Tenants’ Bill of Rights!
● Tenants should have six months’ advance notice of a major rent increase, rather than the two months currently legally required.
● Expand relocation assistance to those being economically evicted by out-of-control rent hikes. Tenants should receive the same $3,200 relocation assistance currently available for those evicted due to major construction.
● Cap security deposits and move-in fees at no more than one month’s rent.
● Housing is a human right! Fully fund an emergency plan to immediately offer decent shelter for the more than 3,000 homeless people on Seattle’s streets.
● Mortgage relief for homeowners! Over 16,500 Seattle families have lost their homes to foreclosure since 2008. The city needs to stop dragging its feet and finally implement a principal reduction program for underwater homeowners to keep more families from losing their homes.