We have to debunk the myth that if we carry the water long enough for the developers and investors, it will trickle down to livable neighborhoods and affordable housing for all, because that is not going to happen.
Seattle is one of the 3 most popular cities in the world for global investors to buy up residential and commercial properties according to Seattle Business Magazine. It’s all kind of a “Swiss bank account” arrangement that essentially has made Seattle a popular black hole that wealthy foreigners tuck gobs of money into. Their all-cash payments make it hard for locals to compete with more traditional mortgages and commercial property financing.
The feeding frenzy they’re having is stoking more and more blade and build speculative development and whopper transactions all the while putting increased financial pressure on the people who already work and live here and removing opportunities to own the homes we live in and the land we do business on.
The global investors are in a crouched and ready-to-pounce position right now expecting that the corruption down at City Hall will throw them yet another gilded bone following the sham rezones related to the ironically named Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda.
The new proposed giveaway to developers and investors is to remove owner-occupant requirements with proposed revisions to the laws that control accessory housing units on properties zoned “single-family”. Once again, the lobbyists print their signs that this is somehow about “Housing for All”, which could not be further from the truth.
Whether you’re a renter or owner, it’s in your best interest to prevent that from happening. Ownership is the best rent control and a good wealth builder. The average renter’s net worth is $5,000 while a homeowner’s average net worth is over $250,000. Interesting, too, is that owner-occupants rent out some of the most stable and affordable housing in Seattle.
I pledge to support increased homeownership across all income brackets and I plan to propose a program to offer zero-interest loan incentives to homeowners willing to tuck rental spaces into their houses.