Nearly 1.2 million public housing units would need to become "entirely smoke-free" under a new rule put forth Thursday by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro.

The proposed rule would give more than 3,100 public housing agencies 18 months to ban cigarettes, cigars and pipes in all living units, indoor common areas and within 25 feet of buildings. The ban would also apply to administrative offices.

A homeless camp beneath an Interstate 5 off-ramp in Seattle's SODO district.
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

Kim Malcom talks to Daniel Malone, executive director of the Downtown Emergency Service Center, about why Seattle Mayor Ed Murray's emergency plan on homelessness doesn't go far enough.

KUOW and KPLU are likely to become one. Pacific Lutheran University has announced the intent to sell.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Being asked to pay extra for transit or schools is a regular event for Seattle voters. In Tuesday's election, they backed the $930 million Move Seattle levy.

So it’s a logical question: Are Seattle taxpayers carrying a heavier tax burden than people in other major U.S. cities?

Seattle City Council District 3 candidates Kshama Sawant and Pamela Banks.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Pamela Banks, a candidate for Seattle’s District 3 council seat, calls her opponent "Budget Rally."

Ross Reynolds speaks with Dave Meinert, owner of the Comet and several other businesses. He is a supporter of Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant's push for commercial rent stabilization. We also hear from Evan Loeffler, landlord attorney with Loeffler Law Group. 

A blighted house on Northeast 65th in Seattle in the Roosevelt neighborhood.
Flicrk Photo/Steve Mohundro (CC BY NC SA)/http://bit.ly/1ZRXDyb

Kim Malcolm speaks with Seattle City Council member Nick Licata about why he co-sponsored a measure to protect renters from slumlords. 

Seattle's District 4 Candidates Are Becoming BFFs

Oct 14, 2015
Seattle City Council District 4 candidates Michael Maddux and Rob Johnson.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Outside the radio booth, Seattle City Council candidates Michael Maddux and Rob Johnson look like they could be brothers.

Easy smiles. Blue tops. Johnson rides the bus; Maddux rides his bike. They joke that that their main difference is crew necks versus V-necks.

A massive multi-family apartment building with commercial retail spaces underneath. A train enters the photo in the foreground at the left of the frame.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Ross Reynolds talks to King County Executive Dow Constantine about his new initiative to develop 700 units of affordable housing around transit centers. 

Thornton Place Apartments in Seattle's Northgate neighborhood has 56 apartments (out of 278) set aside for low wage earners. In exchange for keeping rents for those units low for 12 years, the developer got a tax break.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

When it comes to creating affordable housing, Seattle voters can thank themselves.

Most rent-controlled units built in the last 30 years have relied on a property tax, Seattle's affordable housing levy, first approved by Seattleites in the early 1980s. That's when federal money for affordable housing was cut dramatically under President Ronald Reagan.

Cousins Tiara Jinka and Tiana Jordan can't afford to live in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

It’s a tall order: Get skeptical private developers to help build 20,000 units of affordable housing in Seattle in the next 10 years.

Some of them say Mayor Ed Murray’s “grand bargain” doesn’t pencil out, at least as currently envisioned in the city’s new housing plan.

Veteran Housing Vouchers Scorned by Landlords

Sep 4, 2015

The building manager's office was closed, but Veronica Schenkelberg and Adrian Carrillo decided to wait.

All day, they'd been hitting buzzers and knocking on doors, looking for an apartment for Carrillo, and this building showed promise--it had an apartment available, and from what Carrillo could gather online, it took Section 8 housing vouchers.

After 35 minutes, Cindy Morrison arrived to unlock the door and deliver the same statement the two had been hearing all day:  The building doesn't take federal rent assistance vouchers.

The Undre Arms apartments: great or terrible name?
Flickr Photo/Paul Sableman (CC BY 2.0)

Jeannie Yandel speaks with Cal McAllister, founder of Wexley School for Girls advertising agency, about what makes a great, or terrible, apartment name. 

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray in the KUOW studios.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

David Hyde talks to Seattle Mayor Ed Murray about the mandatory inclusionary housing recommendation in the proposal from the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda committee.  

Todd Mundt speaks with Sarah Mirk, online editor of Bitch Media, about the recent upward creep in Portland Oregon's housing prices.

Tiny House Living Is More Than A Novelty

Aug 3, 2015
At Quixote Village in Olympia, previously homeless adults live in tiny (144 sq. foot interior) cottages.
KUOW Photo

With a growing population and the cost of living on the rise, RadioActive reporters Julia Furukawa and Jack  Paradise take a look into the world of tiny houses as a possible solution in today's podcast. Interviews with builders, owners and those that have benefited from the construction of tiny homes may have you thinking small.

Thanks to Tumbleweed Tiny House Company and Quixote Village.

RadioActive is KUOW's program for youth age 16-20ish. Listen to RadioActive stories, subscribe to the RadioActive podcast and stay in touch on Facebook and Twitter.