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housing

How densely packed should Seattle get?

Dec 14, 2016

Bill Radke speaks with Queen Anne Community Councilmember Martin Kaplan and housing advocate Laura Bernstein about the city's decision to put a hold on more backyard cottages and mother-in-law apartments until an environmental impact study can be performed. They discuss density issues, affordable housing and the changing character of Seattle's single family neighborhoods. 

Teacher Briana Nelson would like to have a place of her own in the Central District.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Seattle’s Central District was historically important to African Americans, until many were priced out.


A view of one of Cast Architecture's backyard cottages. The firm has been a leader promoting backyard cottages in Seattle
Courtesy of Cast Architecture

A housing plan to bring more backyard cottages to Seattle was halted Tuesday when the city's hearing examiner ruled that the proposal needs to undergo a full environmental review, not just approval through the city council.

City Councilmember Kshama Sawant speaks at her election night party at Melrose Market in Seattle on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

There are new limits on how much Seattle landlords can charge for move-in fees. The City Council unanimously approved the rules Monday after months of debate between tenant advocates and landlords.

KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

The city of Seattle wants your feedback on a plan to channel more growth and affordable housing into the city’s most popular neighborhoods.

Rising rents are casting a pall over life for many people in the greater Seattle area.
Craigslist.org screenshot

The number the Census Bureau watches for is 30 percent of household income.

An NPR listener (with what may be the best Twitter handle ever — Booky McReaderpants) inquired whether a home can be powered by bicycle-powered generator.

It's an interesting issue about energy and the modern world. And the short answer comes from just running the numbers.

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

Jeannie Yandel talks to Xochitl Maykovich, an organizer with the Washington Community Action Network, and Brian Robinson, a Seattle landlord who's on the board of directors at the Rental Housing Association, about the pros and cons of the Seattle City Council legislation that would put a cap on move-in fees. 

Seattle police approach man on the street, part of the group show, We are still here, at Gallery4Culture.
Delino Olebar, courtesy Creative Justice Project

Gentrification and housing affordability are hot topics in Seattle right now.

They affect everyone, but typically politicians or media-savvy types dominate the public debate.

Home prices in the Seattle and Portland metro areas are rising faster than anywhere else in the country right now -- about twice as fast as the national average.

Seattle's Mayor and City Council approve their own agenda for the state Legislature every year. For the 2017 legislative session, the city is calling for more protections for tenants and for people of color.


Seattle renters could get a break on rental costs as soon as mid-January. A City Council committee advanced a measure Tuesday that would cap move-in fees.

Eric Jordan and Lisa Hooper are trying to make their camp Rainier Avenue S more tidy and clean. But they feel constrained by the state, which won't let them bring in garbage cans or porta-potties and regularly promises to evict them.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Seattle and other west coast cities are bucking the national homeless trend — and not for the better.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced the numbers from its annual point-in-time count Thursday. The number of homeless people in the U.S. is down 14 percent compared to the year 2010.

Thanks to improved health care, the Native American populations around the country are growing. But the number of homes hasn't kept up. That's especially true of the Northern Arapaho on Wyoming's Wind River Indian Reservation.

Northern Arapaho elder Kenneth Shakespeare raised seven children in a house with views of mountains and hayfields surrounding it. But now he has dementia and it's his kids turn to take care of him in the same four-bedroom, two-bath house they grew up in.

'Week in Review' panelists Bill Radke, Knute Berger, Joni Balter and Eli Sanders.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

It is the last Week In Review before election day. We’ll be talking about the tightening polls and what local races to watch for on election night.

Also Vancouver has been dealing with an affordable housing crisis. They decided to put a tax on foreign buyers as a way to cool the housing market, and it’s working. But where will those buyers go? And should Seattle consider something similar?

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