These housing advocates disagree about everything — except this one thing | KUOW News and Information

These housing advocates disagree about everything — except this one thing

Sep 14, 2017

Bill Radke speaks with John Fox, of the Seattle Displacement Coalition, and Roger Valdez, of Smart Growth Seattle, about their (very different) ideas for how to make sure Seattle has enough affordable housing for those who need it.


For Fox, keeping affordable housing means halting teardowns of buildings that are already affordable, even if that means losing out on potential new units in the city. 

For Valdez, making affordable housing means building a lot more buildings, even if that means tearing down buildings that are currently affordable. The idea is that if more units are available for everyone across the income spectrum, then low-income people won't have to compete with the middle-class for a paltry number of affordable homes.

In the past, Fox and Valdez have been called arch-nemeses for their differing views on how to address Seattle's growth. In this conversation, they at least agree that the ultimate goal is to have affordable housing in Seattle for those who need it (even if they can't agree about how to do it).