Right: Seattle City Councilmember Richard McIver, second from right, listens to Homer Harris Park community members earlier this year.
Seattle City Council members are tackling one of the most urgent issues facing the city – a lack of affordable housing.
Councilmembers Sally J. Clarke, chairwoman of the economic development and neighborhoods committee; Richard J. McIver, chairman of the finance and budget committee; and Tom Rasmussen, chairman of the housing, human services and health committee, will hold a community forum and discussion on affordable housing from noon to 2 p.m. Friday, July 20 at City Hall, Seattle City Council chambers, 600 Fourth Ave., second floor.
Representatives from for-profit housing developers, the Office of Housing and council staff will answer questions and discuss the issue of affordable housing.
Some questions to be explored include: How does the private market create housing? How is housing affordability defined in Seattle in 2007? What tools does the city have to develop affordable housing? What other things should the city consider doing to help add more affordable housing?
The median price for a home in Seattle, according to the most recent reports, is $417,000. That's about $2,774 a month with a 30-year mortgage at 7 percent – plus taxes, insurance and other monthly costs.
"Affordable housing is one of the biggest challenges facing Seattle. We want a public discussion with builders to hear their ideas on what the city can do to increase the supply of housing for low and moderate income families," Rasmussen said.
McIver said he looks forward to hearing what the city can do to "assist private developers in achieving the development of affordable housing."
And Clark said, "In order to preserve our neighborhoods' character and our way of city's quality of life, we must continue to explore new ways of promoting housing affordability."
Other participants include Rick Hooper, policy director, Seattle Office of Housing; Hal Farris, partner, Lorig Associates; Maria Barrientos, principal, Barrientos LLC; Curt Pryde, principal, Pryde + Johnson; Tory Laughlin-Taylor, vice president, Pacific Northwest; A.F. Evans Company; Gerry Pigotti, principal, Gibraltar LLC; Greg Van Patten, manager of investments, Unico Properties; Liz Dunn, principal, Dunn & Hobbs; and Dan Duffus, principal, Soleil Company.
For more information, visit the council's Web site at www.seattle.gov/coun cil.