housing

Back in 2012, something unusual got started in an alleyway in an already tightly developed part of northeast Washington, D.C.

On an 11th-of-an-acre lot next to a cemetery, behind a block of row houses, tiny houses started to go up. And not just one little house in backyard, like you might see in many places. The builders billed this as an urban tiny house community.

Ordinance Limits Rent On Seattle Micro-Housing Units

Feb 24, 2015
Sara Bernard / KUOW

The Seattle City Council unanimously approved an ordinance on Monday that would limit the rent on some micro-housing units. These “efficiency” apartments are smaller than traditional studios.

This is an adjustment to a program that gives developers a tax break for offering some units to low-income renters. But some developers say this is going too far.

File photo. apartment housing apt door
Flickr Photo/Matthew Piatt (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks to news analyst Joni Balter about the progress the Housing Affordability and Livability Committee has made since it was formed by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray in September.

Ross Reynolds talks with Stephen Norman, executive director of King County Housing Authority, about the affordable housing crisis in King County.

File photo. apartment housing apt door
Flickr Photo/Matthew Piatt (CC-BY-NC-ND)

If you are looking for more evidence of a housing crisis in King County, here it is.

Officials at the King County Housing Authority report a flood of people applying for federal housing assistance.

On Wednesday, after a four year hiatus, the authority once again began accepting applications for the federal Housing Choice Voucher Program, more commonly called Section 8.

Zillow And 'The New Rules Of Real Estate'

Jan 29, 2015

In the latest installment of our new series of conversation with leaders, called View From The Top, Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson speaks with Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff and Zillow chief economist Stan Humphries.

Crowds of homeless people often gather on the sidewalks of downtown Seattle near social-service providers.
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

The ranks of the homeless continue to swell in King County. An overnight count found 3,772 people living on the streets — a 21 percent increase since last January.

Hundreds of volunteers fanned out across the county in the wee hours of Friday morning to take count of the region's rising homeless population.

Flickr Photo/PJMixer (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with real estate appraiser Richard Hagar about how the influx of people to Seattle has caused housing prices region-wide to skyrocket, even in rural areas.

Rising Rents In 2014 Led By Small Cities

Jan 6, 2015

Average rents increased across the country by 3.6 percent in 2014, according to new data from the real estate research firm Reis, Inc. The average monthly lease rate is now $1,124.38, the highest number since Reis started collecting data in 1980.

It’s the fifth year in a row that rents have been on the rise, but this year rent increases affected residents in smaller and midsize cities, and not just the largest cities in the U.S.

Across the Northwest, some families will spend Christmas in rented mobile homes where the living conditions are marginal at best and dangerous at worst.

Larry Jametsky and Christina Stewart back at home in SeaTac, Wash., Dec. 2014
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Larry Jametsky lost his home in SeaTac through a “foreclosure rescue” scam. He and his family were homeless for years while his case made its way through the courts.

But last February, the Washington Supreme Court ruled unanimously that his case should be reexamined. Two months later, Jametsky got his house back.

In 2008, Jametsky signed what he thought was a loan, but he’d actually sold his house for a fraction of its value. What he thought were loan payments were in fact rent payments.

KUOW Photo/Matthew Streib

Marcie Sillman talks with Roxanne Fonder Reeve, who, along with a slew of volunteers, is building a trash studio in her Columbia City driveway to teach people how they can build environmentally sustainable housing out of found materials.

KUOW/John Ryan photo

The Seattle City Council has approved spending $100,000 to support homeless camps next year, like the one that sprang up on a busy sidewalk in front of the University District post office in September. That camp has since moved to the parking lot of the University Congregational United Church of Christ a few blocks away.

Twenty men, women and children now make a home out of eight parking spaces.

Every day at noon, residents of the tent village that calls itself The Ave Foundation hold a meeting to work through problems and assign chores. They call it their "family meeting."

The Eastside Dabbles With Affordable Housing

Nov 24, 2014
Redmond barber Young Choi discusses the changing face of Redmond with client Kurt Link.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Seattle has struggled to provide affordable housing, and now suburbs are grappling with the same problem. Cities on the Eastside have been updating zoning laws to encourage more affordable housing. But critics say those cities should press developers for more.

Hill’s Barber Shop has been serving people in Redmond for more than 40 years. Last year, Young Choi, an immigrant from South Korea, bought the business.

KUOW Photo/John Ryan

Rents are rising sharply in Seattle, and the city has launched another effort to tackle the shortage of affordable housing.

At an Ethiopian community center in the Rainier Valley, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray's new affordable housing committee tried Wednesday night to take the pulse of a community hit hard by housing costs.

The 28-member committee's first open house began slowly as a consultant showed the multicultural audience how to use handheld electronic clickers to take part in an instant survey.

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