Joined by affordable housing advocates and other community members, Mayor Jenny A. Durkan signed into law the ordinance to implement Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) in Seattle’s 27 urban villages and all other commercial and multifamily residential areas.
“Today, Seattle took another step toward more affordable housing choices and a more affordable, welcoming city for all,” said Mayor Durkan. “We need more affordable housing as quickly as possible because too many people are being priced out of our city. We want a city where people who work in Seattle can afford to live and raise a family in Seattle. This legislation is one way we can build a more affordable future for all. Even as we celebrate this step, we have a lot of work to do to make Seattle more affordable and build more affordable housing options. We must listen to community and continue our investments in our housing levy, renew the Multi-Family Tax Exemption program, invest in parks and green spaces, and continue to have critical investment from our state, regional, and federal partners. Working with community members, business, labor, and City Council, in 2019 we must double down on our commitment to building more affordable housing as quickly as possible.”
“MHA has been shaped by years of community input and engagement. For three years running, my days have been filled with discussing how to reach our goal of creating more units of housing in the next decade. As such, I view MHA as one of the primary strategies to create more affordable housing, as well as address the legacy of ‘redlining’. And today’s vote is an exclamation point on our recognition of its impact on housing inequality for all Seattleites,” said Councilmember Rob Johnson (District 4, Northeast Seattle)
On Monday, after more than a year of Council meetings and public hearings, the City Council unanimously approved implementing MHA’s affordable housing requirements citywide. The ordinance will generate an estimated 3,000 new affordable homes over 10 years, doubling the number of anticipated new affordable homes created through the 2017 implementation on new developments in the University District, Downtown, South Lake Union, Chinatown-International District, along 23rd Ave in the Central Area, and Uptown, helping the City to meet the 10-year goal of 6,000 new affordable homes generated by MHA.
Today over 45,000 Seattle households spend more than half of their income on housing. Under MHA, the cost of a rent-restricted two-bedroom apartment for a family of four earning $60,200 would be $1,353. For an individual making less than $42,150, a one-bedroom would cost $1,128.