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housing

Homes in Queen Anne are shown from the Space Needle in November in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Happy Valentine’s Day? Your property tax — or your rent, probably — is going up to help pay for better schools.

Audrey Behrenhoff walks her dog Emma in front of her home in Redmond last week, at Friendly Village-55 Plus Park, recently purchased by King County Housing Authority. Behrenhoff, 80, has lived in three different mobile homes at Friendly Village.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Underneath the Sea-Tac airport flight path, where planes rip through the sky, there’s a giant field of dirt, and it has a lot to say.

“Please be advised that your tenancy of the above premises will terminate…” reads a large sign posted at the corner of the field. 

Flickr Photo/Tom Davidson (CC BY NC 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/dQVW4x

Our region’s population hit 4 million people just over a year ago. Now, there’s a prediction that it will reach nearly 6 million by 2050. It’s the latest growth projection from The Puget Sound Regional Council.

Housing costs contribute dramatically to the high basic cost of living in Seattle.
KUOW photo/Megan Farmer

Rents have been declining in the Seattle area. Compared with the previous quarter, rents in December dropped an average of $50.

Fort Lawton at night
Flickr Photo/Joe Wolf (CC BY 2.0) http://bit.ly/2CS0Zut

A plan to bring affordable housing to a swath of land near Discovery Park received overwhelming support from the residents who attended a public hearing Tuesday night.

Terry Cook lives near the proposed development in Magnolia. She said the addition of affordable housing and services for homeless seniors would benefit the neighborhood.

Housing Markets In Northwest Cities Still Topping The Charts

Dec 26, 2017

Home prices continued to climb in Seattle and Portland at some of the fastest rates in the country this year. The latest data show Seattle is still the nation’s hottest market.

Pioneer Square apartment listed at $130/night on Airbnb.
Courtesy of Airbnb

The Seattle City Council unanimously approved regulations Monday to limit short term rentals like Airbnb, after more than a year working out concerns from that and similar companies.

Under the new ordinance, most people will be allowed to operate two rental units max.

Housing costs contribute dramatically to the high basic cost of living in Seattle.
KUOW photo/Megan Farmer

Washington cities are prohibited from regulating rent prices, but one lawmaker wants to change that. Democratic state Representative Nicole Macri says she'll propose a bill in 2018 to end the rent control ban.

Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan takes the oath of office, administered by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Jones, right, on Tuesday, November 28, 2017, at the Ethiopian Community Center in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Jenny Durkan was sworn in as Seattle's 56th mayor Tuesday in a ceremony at the Ethiopian Community Center, directing pointed remarks to President Trump in her opening remarks.

The Record: Monday, November 20, 2017

Nov 20, 2017
KUOW PHOTO/MEGAN FARMER

Land of the free, home of the easily swayed? Studio 360 host and author Kurt Andersen will tell you how this country has always swallowed fake news, all the way back to its colonist beginnings. He's written a new book called "Fantasyland."

Jim Loter documented building a backyard cottage in Seattle. Here's a picture from day 25: erecting the walls.
Flickr Photo/Jim L (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/s/aHsju5PWuH

Seattle officials are conducting an environmental review of the entire city to look at the possible impacts of building more backyard cottages. Some lawmakers want to make it easier for homeowners to build them.

Residents can weigh in now on the scope of that environmental review.

The White House is blocking money to build new tribal housing along the Columbia River. That’s according to five members of the Washington and Oregon congressional delegations.

The current Convention Place bus station is being considered as an expansion site for the Washington State Convention Center.
KUOW Photo/David Hyde

Seattle will get an additional $60 million in public benefits, including affordable housing and bike lanes, as part of the proposed expansion of the Washington State Convention Center.

That’s more than the project’s developers had originally offered. The new money is the result of long negotiations.

An unreinforced masonry wall fails a shake test at the University of British Columbia
Courtesy of UBC

Seattle has 1,100 old brick buildings that are especially vulnerable to collapsing in a big earthquake. Few have been retrofitted to withstand a major seismic event.

Now researchers at the University of British Columbia say they’ve come up with a cheap, fast way to reinforce such buildings: spray them with bendable concrete.

Queen Anne Avenue is now zoned to allow 85ft buildings between Denny Way and Roy Street
Flickr Photo/Matthew Rutledge (CC BY-NC 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/5BRcDM

Taller developments will now be allowed in Seattle's lower Queen Anne neighborhood. The City Council unanimously passed a rezone measure on Monday.

It’s the last of five neighborhood rezones expected this year, after legislation was already approved for the University District, Chinatown-International District, parts of the Central Area, and downtown/South Lake Union.

Some insurance companies are choosing not to renew policies in wildfire-prone areas of the inland Northwest. That’s sending home owners scrambling to find new coverage for their properties.

L-R: Dave Ross, Bill Radke, Joni Balter, Rob McKenna
KUOW PHOTO/MEGAN FARMER

Bill apologizes to listeners for our interview with the man from this week's viral Seattle-Nazi-gets-punched video, and we look for the lessons. (see the video and read the transcript)

Seattle gets a new temporary mayor, and the race to replace Eastside Congressman Dave Reichert gets a well-known Republican challenger.

KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle has a shortage of housing. But all over town, houses stand vacant. Either they’re in foreclosure, or they’re waiting to be torn down for development. Some people think vacant homes are an underused resource.

One man steals them.


KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

The rising cost of housing in America's most desirable "creative" cities troubles Richard Florida, urbanist thinker and author. In those cities, the cost of housing is affordable only to the creative class themselves. The rest of the working population — those in service industry or manufacturing — struggle to keep up with rising housing prices.

Florida says what's happening in Seattle, specifically, is surprising even to someone like him, "supposedly in the know."

The Sam Hill mansion on Capitol Hill is on the market for $15 million.
KUOW Photos/Megan Farmer

The Sam Hill mansion on Capitol Hill is the most expensive real estate listing in Seattle.

Should the owner have to pay a luxury sales tax? It's one of the big proposals in this year's Seattle mayor's race.

Justin Robinson, left, and the man who bought his apartment building, Dan Robins.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

When an old apartment building goes on the market, all of a sudden, everybody starts doing the math.  


Demand is soaring for Seattle-area homes. Buyers who want to succeed are bidding up prices. This Seattle house recently sold for $100,000 over the asking price.
Courtesy of Seattle MLS

Bill Radke speaks with Geekwire writer Monica Nickelsburg about a new Seattle based startup called Loftium which will help you buy a house — if you agree to rent out a spare bedroom on Airbnb and split the profits with them.

KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

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.


KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Emily Fox speaks with KUOW's Region of Boom reporter Joshua McNichols about the team's upcoming coverage of Seattle's housing crisis.


Carl Slater at the Good Shepherd Center in Wallingford
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood is known for its restored bungalows and for Gasworks Park. But some people worry it could lose its soul if the city’s affordable housing plan goes through. 


Seattle may regulate Airbnb, VRBO and other short term rentals by next year. The Seattle City Council discussed a new proposal Wednesday, after the vacation industry opposed earlier versions.

Bill Radke speaks with Rex Hohlbein, the creator of the BLOCK Project, a plan to house the homeless with a tiny home on every residential block of the city. It's a way, Hohlbein believes, to break down stereotypes and connect the homeless more with their community.

Radke also speaks with Kim Sherman, who owns the first backyard that will have a tiny home. She explains why she wanted to do it, her initial concerns and how she believes others can be convinced that this is the right thing to do.

Gentrification of neighborhoods can wreak havoc for those most vulnerable to change.

Sure, access to services and amenities rise in a gentrifying neighborhood. That is a good thing. But those amenities won't do you much good if you're forced to move because of skyrocketing housing costs.

That is why neighborhood and housing advocacy groups have spent decades searching for ways to protect longtime residents from the negative effects of gentrification.

KUOW PHOTO/Megan Farmer

The mayoral race in Seattle is heating up. King County Democrats have endorsed Cary Moon, and so has today’s panelist, former mayor Mike McGinn. Labor unions have come out in support Jenny Durkan. What’s the significance of this latest round of endorsements?

The City of Seattle is going to spend at least a quarter of million dollars defending legal attacks against the high earner income tax passed by City Council on a 9-0 vote. Is it common for a local or state government agency to pass laws they know they need to spend money to defend in court?

Is Seattle becoming Amazonia? And because we're still not sick of talking about the eclipse, we ask the panel where they watched the celestial show.

Listen to the show on Fridays at noon and join the conversation on Twitter using #KUOWwir.

A sketch of The Emerald, a 40-foot condominium tower planned at 2nd and Stewart near Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle. Chinese investors helped make the project possible.
Hewitt Seattle

Seattleites love to blame outsiders for skyrocketing housing prices.

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