Wednesday, March 29, 2023
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Seattle’s future: Climate, housing




Seattle’s climate goal is to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030, but we are not on track. And we’re not on track to solve the city’s affordable housing crisis. It will take bold action by our city leaders to address these goals.

In her Op-Ed calling for adopting Alternative 6 for Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan, Councilmember Tammy Morales is on target [“Plan a green, equitable Seattle that embraces mixed uses and incomes,” Dec. 28, Opinion]. Alternative 6 addresses both climate and housing; it provides in-city affordable housing for workers, which reduces their commutes. Less commuting and providing 15-minute walkable services (clinics, schools, groceries) will lower Seattle’s greenhouse-gas emissions. The Downtown Seattle Association vision for more parks, better transit and improved public safety to revitalize downtown is also on target.

Not every challenge can be addressed with the city’s existing resources. Gov. Jay Inslee’s proposed state budget for the next two years adds 7,500 affordable housing units, some in Seattle. Initiative 135 for social housing promises affordable housing. Converting vacant offices to apartments could add 1,700-plus units in Seattle. The Lid I-5 proposal provides affordable housing, with federal funding.

More funding is needed. Comprehensive Plan Alternative 6 calls for bold action. Let’s not settle for anything less.

James Little, Seattle, and Jim Street, Seattle (former Seattle City Council member)

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