The report finds that 41 percent of the city's housing units are now in areas designated as urban centers or urban villages---an increase from just 36 percent in 2000.
Under Seattle affordability standards, a one-bedroom apartment is considered "affordable" if it costs $1,000 or less a month. A two-bedroom apartment is "affordable" at $1,350, and a two-bedroom condo is "affordable" at $349,000. A four-bedroom house if "affordable" at $410,000.
2) State Sen. David Frockt (D-46) called PubliCola yesterday to talk about his proposal to allow cities that pass new fees (Gov. Chris Gregoire's transportation proposal would allow cities to ask voters to fund a motor-vehicle excise tax or a vehicle license fee) for transit to give a rebate to low-income drivers, who bear a disproportionate impact from regressive transportation fees.
Noting that the rebate would be "completely optional," Frockt said that cities have told him they want to "leave that open" and provide "as much flexibility as possible" for local jurisdictions to give low-income households an exemption from any new transportation tax or fee.
3) Seattle pastor Ken Hutcherson, a gay-marriage opponent who heads up the Antioch Bible Church in Kirkland, compared Gov. Chris Gregoire (who supports legalizing same-sex marriage) to Abraham Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth yesterday, accusing her of trying to "put a bullet in the head of one of the greatest traditions that has ever existed and has built our society, and that is marriage between one man and one woman."
Hutcherson, speaking at a press conference, has been a vocal opponent of a gay-marriage bill sponsored by Sen. Ed Murray (D-43) and Rep. Jamie Pedersen (D-43).
4) Responding to a story in PubliCola about Gov. Chris Gregoire's proposal to centralize the state's business and occupation (B&O) tax collections at the state, rather than the city, level, Seattle City Council member Richard Conlin said unequivocally yesterday that the existing proposal "does not work" from the city council's perspective. "The existing bill"---which the city says would cost it as much as $43 million a year---"is simply a nonstarter from our perspective," Conlin said. The state has disputed the city's cost estimate.