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Mayor Jenny Durkan Applauds City Council’s Passage of the Mandatory Housing Affordability Legislation

SEATTLE (March 18, 2019) – Mayor Jenny A. Durkan issued the following statement after the Seattle City Council’s unanimous 9-0 vote to adopt Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA), implementing affordable housing requirements and increasing density in 27 neighborhoods throughout Seattle: 

“Today, Seattle took a big step toward more affordable housing choices and a more affordable, welcoming city for all. I applaud the City Council for taking this vital step, and I look forward to joining community members this week as I sign this proposal for more affordable housing into law. 

“We need more affordable housing as quickly as possible – both for low-income neighbors and for middle-income Seattleites who have worked and raised families here, but now see a city where their kids can’t afford to live. 

“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 the City Council, in 2019 we must double down on our commitment to building more affordable housing as quickly as possible.” 

In 2017 the Seattle City Council unanimously implemented MHA affordable housing requirements through zoning changes in six neighborhoods (University District, Downtown, South Lake Union, Chinatown-International District, along 23rd Ave in the Central Area, and Uptown). By extending MHA to Seattle’s other urban villages, as well as all other existing multifamily residential and commercial zones, new development will generate more than 6,000 additional rent– and income-restricted homes.   

Since 2017, Mayor Durkan has announced more than 2,000 new affordable homes that will come online by 2022. In January, Mayor Durkan launched the city’s first-ever Affordable Middle-Income Housing Advisory Council, to address the housing needs of middle-income residents. In February, Mayor Durkan announced her Executive Order addressing affordability and residential displacement