A Public Bank Could Relieve Seattle’s Housing Crisis

Like hundreds of cities in America, Seattle is in the midst of an affordable housing crisis. During a one-year period in 2015–16, Seattle rents increased by 9.7 percent — four times the national average. In 2017, the cost of an average two-bedroom topped $2,000. The results have been predictable: nearly half of Seattle renters are currently “housing-cost burdened,” meaning they spend more than 30% of their income on rent. They may be the lucky ones. A recent Zillow study cited the connection between even modest rent increases and resulting homelessness; meanwhile, King County’s 2017 One Night Count tallied 11,643 homeless people. The Seattle region’s unhoused population now trails only that of Los Angeles County and New York City — and the survey’s flawed methodology means the true count is almost certainly higher.
Share This