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Dear Mayor Durkan,
Seattle cannot be a decent city if we neglect our most vulnerable. With an unprecedented number of homeless deaths so far this year, action on the homelessness crisis should be your highest priority. Delay has unacceptable costs. Councilmembers and diverse stakeholders worked for months to craft Progressive Business Tax legislation that is a real response to this crisis, raising $75 million per year for housing, shelter, and services.
It is deeply disappointing that despite all of this, you propose a plan that would build a mere 50 units of housing per year for five years. This plan guarantees that hundreds more people will die in that time—and we will still be in a state of emergency.
The people of Seattle need real action on the housing crisis–not band-aids. As the McKinsey report recently confirmed, that means major new resources, and low-income housing on a large scale. Seattle will continue to grow, and unless we develop a coordinated plan to build tens of thousands of units of affordable housing over the next decade, we will become a city where only rich people can live, and we will tragically fail to lead the way as a climate-friendly, people-friendly city. We cannot accept legislation that fails utterly to address our severe affordable housing shortage. $40 million is simply too low.
We cannot let Amazon drive our public policy. I call on you to support $75 million/year legislation that will fund thousands of units of new low-income housing, in addition to expanding shelter and services to keep people safe and alive today.[If you personalize your message, it will be added here.]