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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

December 30, 2008 at 4:10 PM

Seattle housing developments

The sky is the limit

If Seattle genuinely wants affordable housing, the only real solution is to allow developers to build taller in more places, thus increasing the supply of units and decreasing the price from what it would otherwise be. Anything else is likely to be ineffectual.

In “Seattle may ease rules to encourage affordable housing downtown” [News, Dec. 30], reporter Emily Heffter writes that “One method [to make housing less expensive] is allowing developers to build taller if they set aside some money or some units for affordable housing.” But this is silly. Simply letting developers meet demand would make housing more affordable.

Building taller shouldn’t be viewed as a gift to developers; it’s really necessary if Seattle is serious about genuinely reducing housing costs.

This is basic economics, but either no one in the mayor’s office understands it or doesn’t want to make the trade-offs necessary for higher buildings.

— Jake Seliger, Seattle

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