Given The Seattle Times critique of the Seattle City Council’s recent proposal to assess market-rate housing developers with a linkage fee leaves me wondering how The Times would propose that we finance and build more affordable and low-income housing within our city [“Don’t blame development for the high cost of housing,” Opinion, Oct. 27]. The current housing levy of $20 million a year obviously is not providing enough funds to meet the present need, and the voluntary program of incentive zoning for developers is not leveraging enough revenue to provide sufficient affordable housing in our city.
Assessing a linkage fee or setting up a program of inclusionary zoning are other options of generating such revenue and have nothing to do with blaming housing developers for the current high cost of housing in our city. The market is what it is. However, market-rate housing developers are doing extremely well financially in this current market and, in the absence of any kind of income tax in this state, other means need to be established to ensure that everyone is contributing their fair share to the well-being of the entire community. If you have any other proposals for providing more affordable housing in our city, please let us know.
Ron Moe-Lobeda, Seattle