When it takes two six-figure salaries to afford a home in Seattle, we are in danger of becoming a city of the 1%. Families are being squeezed by high property taxes, small businesses struggle to pay their employees a living wage and still make ends meet, and too many people are being displaced out of neighborhoods that have long been their home. Neighborhoods and the city need to work together to find balanced solutions for thoughtful density that allows middle class families, teachers, college students, and seniors to continue to be a part of our vibrant community.
Balance neighborhood and housing needs to develop walkable, livable communities. Build denser, multi-family housing close to workforce and transit hubs. Where appropriate, include mixed use zoning so there is available grocery, retail, and restaurant options within walking distance in most neighborhoods. And make sure there is an abundance of green space and adequate transit serving every neighborhood.
Require developers to include affordable housing onsite in every new development. Right now, developers can build affordable housing in new developments or pay an in-lieu fee. Many choose to pay the fee which means construction of affordable housing is clustered together and delayed, exacerbating wealth disparity in our neighborhoods. We need to require developers to include affordable housing in every new development to ensure we have adequate affordable housing citywide.
Implement the recent ADU legislation passed by the current city council. ADUs provide low-impact density in single-family zones without increasing building heights or dramatically altering neighborhoods. ADUs can support multi-generational families, help older residents afford to stay in their home, and provide options for young adult children living at home. While I supported keeping some owner occupancy requirement, the legislation was a needed step in the right direction to creating more housing.
Support small businesses with reasonable policies and city support. As a small business leader since age 23, I know firsthand how hard it can be to run a thriving business in this city. Small businesses grow our middle class and create living wage jobs, so it is vital our city works in partnership with small businesses and acknowledges the difference between local business owners and major corporations. I would work to limit new regulations and taxes that hurt small businesses and be a voice advocating for the importance of economic development and job growth for the city as a whole.