Seattle Special Election Feb. 14 - Initiative Measure No. 135

Posted By: Ryan Makinster Advocacy News,

This measure would create the “Seattle Social Housing Developer” as a public development authority (PDA) to develop, own and maintain social housing in Seattle, with all the powers available to PDAs under local and state law. Social housing means publicly owned and financed mixed-income housing intended to be permanently affordable.

The City would be required to provide 18 months of in-kind support to establish the PDA, including at minimum office space, staffing, supplies, insurance and bonding, and legal services. Subsequent City support, including funding, if any, would be at the City Council’s discretion. Whenever the City considers the sale or gift of public lands for private or non-public use, it would need to prepare a feasibility study regarding whether the property should be transferred to the PDA for social housing.

This measure would approve the PDA’s Charter that establishes a governing Board of thirteen members, with seven members initially appointed by the Seattle Renters’ Commission (SRC) and six by other entities. Subsequently, the “Constituency,” meaning the PDA’s social housing residents, would assume the SRC’s responsibility to elect seven Board members. Other entities would continue to appoint six members representing various areas of expertise.

The PDA’s Charter describes the purpose, directives, and goals of the PDA. It requires that social housing be owned exclusively by the PDA and, where possible, contain units that accommodate mixes of extremely low to moderate household income ranges, and household sizes. The Board, with Constituency agreement, may recommend amendments to the Charter for City Council approval.

Read full ballot measure and election material here.