housing

Seattle Municipal Archives

Emily Fox talks with Crosscut's Knute Berger about the rental crisis that affected Seattle in the early 1960's. In anticipation of visitors for the Seattle World's Fair, some Seattle landlords evicted tenants, jacked up rents, and turned their apartments into short-term rentals.


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

Bill Radke hosts a discussion between Rebecca Saldana, executive director of Puget Sound Sage, and Michelle Acquavella, owner of Sea to Sky Rentals,  about proposed legislation before the Seattle City Council that would tighten the regulations around short term rental websites like Airbnb or VRBO.

Tiny cabin on Queen Anne; $65. On same property as several other quirky dwellings.
Courtesy of Airbnb

Airbnb and VRBO (vacation rentals by owner) type rentals could come under new restrictions in Seattle. There would be a limit on how many nights a host could rent their space under a city proposal that was announced Wednesday.


Forterra/Florangela Davila

Bill Radke speaks with Gene Duvernoy, president and CEO of Forterra, and Estela Ortega, executive director of El Centro de la Raza, about why their organizations are teaming up to create affordable housing and what building apartments has to do with saving the environment.

For the first time in more than 130 years, Americans ages 18-34 are more likely to live with their parents than in any other living situation, according to a new analysis by the Pew Research Center.

The boxy-style house on the left has been finished since this photo was taken in the summer of 2015. The house sold for $1,145,000, according to county records. Greenwood
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

The number of million-dollar homes in the Seattle area has tripled over the past four years, according to a Seattle Times analysis of data from the real estate website Trulia.

Bill Radke speaks with Seattle Times economics columnist Jon Talton about how and why we've seen such a steep increase in the worth of single-family homes and whether Seattle is becoming the next San Francisco.

Kshama Sawant
KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Kim Malcolm speaks with Xochitl Maykovich, an organizer with the Washington Community Action Network, about a Seattle City Council proposal that would make it illegal for landlords to raise rents in buildings that don't meet basic maintenance standards.  

Malcolm also speaks with Roger Valdez, executive director of Smart Growth Seattle.

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

You won't find many backyard cottages or mother-in-law units in Seattle. City officials say about 220 have been built since city officials started allowing them in 2009.

City Councilmember Mike O'Brien wants to change that to meet the growing demand for housing.

Housing in the Yesler Terrace area.
KUOW Photo/Dominic Black

Bill Radke speaks with Emily Parkhurst, managing editor of the Puget Sound Business Journal, about why developers like Paul Allen's Vulcan Real Estate are interested in developing Yesler Terrace, Seattle's oldest housing project, and how the Seattle Housing Authority is working to ensure current low-income tenants aren't displaced. The Puget Sound Business Journal recently featured the development.

Tiny homes, which can be as little as 50 to 300 square feet, are growing in popularity as a solution for the homeless. In Chicago, advocates want to build tiny houses to serve a specific marginalized group — homeless youth, especially those who identify as LGBTQ.

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

This summer, Seattle voters will be asked to make property in the city a little less affordable to make housing for the poorest Seattleites more affordable.

On Monday, Seattle City Council unanimously approved putting a housing levy on the Aug. 2 primary ballot.


The lobby at Exeter House, which was built as a luxury, live-in hotel in the 1920s.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Exeter House in downtown Seattle was built as an apartment hotel for elegant living in the 1920s. It was part of a construction boom downtown at the time.

Would you agree to pay more taxes every year to keep low-income people in their homes? That's one goal of Seattle's proposed housing levy.

The public can weigh in at a hearing Monday in City Hall at 5:30 p.m.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is making it easier for people with criminal records to find housing.

In new guidance, released Monday, HUD tells landlords and home sellers that turning down tenants or buyers based on their criminal records may violate the Fair Housing Act.

People with criminal records aren't a protected class under the Fair Housing Act, and the guidance from HUD's general counsel says that in some cases, turning down an individual tenant because of his or her record can be legally justified.

LaToya Fowlkes is standing outside rent court in Baltimore. A judge has just ruled that Fowlkes has to pay her landlord $4,900 in rent and fees despite her complaints that the house has leaky water pipes, chipped paint, rodents and a huge hole in the living room wall.

But Fowlkes didn't notify her landlord of the problems by certified mail — something the judge said she should have done to avoid eviction.

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