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Mayor Murray and Councilmember Johnson Statement on Key Housing Affordability Measure Passing City Council

SEATTLE (August 15, 2016) – Mayor Ed Murray and Councilmember Rob Johnson today issued the following statement after City Council passed the residential provision of the Mandatory Housing Affordability program, which is a key provision of the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA).

“Far too many families and residents are either spending too much on housing or leaving Seattle altogether,” said Mayor Murray. “When I convened the HALA committee in 2014, I asked affordable housing advocates and stakeholders to find comprehensive and balanced solutions to our housing affordability crisis—the mandatory affordability program does this by utilizing residential development to create 6,000 affordable homes in Seattle over the next decade. Thank you to City Council for passing this historic measure ensuring that as Seattle grows, we do so equitable and affordably.”

In April of 2016, Mayor Murray proposed the residential Mandatory Housing (MHA-R) program to City Council. The proposal was approved by the Council’s Planning, Land Use & Zoning committee in early August and was passed today by full Council.

“We know that over 40,000 of our City’s households are paying more than 50% of their income in rent and that this burden is experienced even more by communities of color,” said Councilmember Rob Johnson (District 4, Northeast Seattle). “We must address this crisis with all the tools available to us, and this program has the potential to be an effective and innovative one.This bill is the culmination of years of dedication and hard work from housing advocates, social justice advocates, the development community, City staff, Councilmembers and the Mayor’s office.  I would like to thank everyone who has spent countless hours to get us to this point and recognize this legislation as an important step forward.”