Affordable Housing | Solutions for Spokane

"Introduction to a three-part article about my solutions for the affordable housing crisis facing Spokane"

 

This is no silver bullet to solving the affordable housing crisis.

While I know policy proposals draw scrutiny,

I strongly feel that you deserve a candidate who will offer their ideas on how to fix an issue, not just talking points.

I've tried to do that here.

 

Linda says our housing market is broken...and she’s right.

Last week I spoke to Linda, a single mother in north Spokane. She was facing an absurd-level rent increase, forcing her and her family out of their home. I tried to imagine my mortgage or my rent going up by $250 a month. 

How would I react? Would I brush it off as the cost of living in our growing city? Would I see it as a landlord maximizing his profits? Would I view it as the risk of renting? Of course, I wouldn’t. I would be terrified. I would be mad. I would demand my elected leaders do something to help stop the bleeding. This is the same reaction and expectation, this single mother had when I met with her. She’s a fighter (single moms always are) and she needs help from her community navigating and landing secure housing for her family.

The housing crisis facing Spokane requires a three-prong approach.

We cannot effectively end this crisis without addressing each one:

1. Increase supply of available housing;

2. Provide incentives and subsidies to encourage non-profits and builders to create workforce and senior housing; and

3. Strengthen protections for of renters of all ages and incomes.

The current situation not sustainable.

If we fail build new housing, we will see even higher rents and increasing home prices that create a bubble with dangerous long-term implications for the entire city when popped.

If we do not have an effective incentive and financing program for the development of affordable housing, the 15-20% of our citizens seeking income-limited housing will have nowhere to go.

It is going to take time to build both market rate and affordable housing, and we are still going to experience rents rising faster than people can afford. We need basic protections for people living in our city. Rental protections guard against these issues.

We must tackle all three issues to get out of this crisis.

Over the next few days, our campaign will roll out proven strategies in each area that will help our community regain control of the frantic and imbalanced housing market that puts all of us at risk.

As always, I want to hear your ideas for ending the housing crisis in Spokane. Tomorrow let’s chat about creating more housing.

Till then,

Ben