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housing

An example of a 400 square foot backyard cottage.
KUOW Photo/paintchipdiaries (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/CXL53

Seattle officials are taking another shot at regulating Airbnb, VRBO and other vacation rentals. City Councilmember Tim Burgess is proposing new rules after a similar plan last year attracted opposition from the rental industry.

A year ago, 1,400 people showed up for 110 affordable units on Beacon Hill.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Seattle officials are calling for improvements in how the city holds developers accountable. That’s because of a problem the Office of City Auditor found in how the city tracks new construction.

Seattle skyline
Flickr Photo/Steven Santiago (CC-BY-NC-ND)/https://flic.kr/p/q4dpg6

Downtown and South Lake Union are poised to get even denser. Seattle lawmakers have approved a rezone to increase the building heights for both neighborhoods. Mayor Ed Murray signed it into law on Friday, April 14.

A 1960s sign from an old flophouse in Pioneer Square in Seattle.
Flickr/Matthew Klein (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/4PF4Bn

It’s not an easy time to find an apartment in Seattle. You’d be hard pressed to find a one-bedroom on Capitol Hill for less than $1,400 per month — and rents for similarly-sized apartments in swanky new buildings regularly soar upward of $3,000.

A few years ago, Nikita Smith was named in an eviction case by her landlord.

They ended up resolving the issue and she was never evicted.

But being named in the case was enough to disqualify her when she applied for a home in Renton in 2015.

Now, Smith has filed a lawsuit targeting the landlord screening policy that stood in her way.


An example of a 400 square foot backyard cottage.
KUOW Photo/paintchipdiaries (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/CXL53

Backyard cottages and mother-in-law units are back on the city of Seattle's priority list — and they will be for at least the next year. City officials want to make it easier for people to build them in order to add to the housing stock.

I lived in my car in Ballard for three years

Mar 23, 2017
Homeless RV
Flickr Photo/A. Kwanten (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/Bv6MSo

Robert Loomis had a good job and had just signed a mortgage on a new home then he started having chest pains. This is his story.

4 things to know about Mayor Ed Murray's homeless levy

Mar 22, 2017
Kara Bernstine, who is homeless, said she knows the Jungle homeless encampment isn't perfectly safe, but it felt safer than other places in the city. Click on this photo to see more images of the Jungle.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

This summer, Seattle voters will likely be tasked with a big decision. Should the city should double what it spends combating homelessness?

President Donald Trump is proposing budget cuts that would deeply impact programs in King County.

The proposal has a long way to go, and ultimately Congress has the final say. But leaders worry about how it might hurt low-income residents.


Harold Nesland III owns Sahara Pizza in Snoqualmie and Black Diamond.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

A woman, a new resident of the huge Snoqualmie Ridge development, had called in for pizza.

It was the first pie order for one of those new shiny houses, and Harold Nesland III, owner of Sahara Pizza, drove it over.

Apartment buildings in the University District, Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

The first-come, first-served law passed last summer means Seattle landlords can't thumb through a stack of applications and choose the tenant they like the most; they have to rent to the first qualified applicant.

'Week in Review' panel Bill Radke, Jonathan Martin, Natalie Brand and Essex Porter.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Washington's attorney general says the injunction he won against President Trump's travel ban still applies to the president's new executive order and is asking a federal judge to agree.

Seattle landlords sue the city for making them rent to whichever qualified applicant shows up first.

Some people are mad with Sound Transit over the rising cost of car tabs and how the agency decides what your car is worth.

And we're still talking about a propane spill that clogged city traffic for nine hours.

For this map, we combined a map from 1919 with Google maps to approximate modern roads and living areas. We then took satellite maps from the City of Black Diamond showing proposed new developments and sketched those out as well.
KUOW Graphic/Kara McDermott

A mega housing development is going up in Black Diamond outside Seattle, and some of those houses could be built on top of old mine shafts.

With Oregon’s biggest cities in a housing crunch, lawmakers are considering a measure that would require landlords to give specific reasons for evicting a tenant.

Mine #11 in Black Diamond supported a workforce of 400-500 people, underground and on the surface. This mine operated from 1896 to 1927. Photo is from 1904.
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collection Negative No. UW-23734.

The hill at Palmer Coking Coal Company in Black Diamond is smoldering. 

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