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Trading a police precinct for affordable housing

Plan cut from $160M to $29M passes

The good news for fans of affordable housing in Seattle: Seattle City Council approved a $29M bond to finance affordable housing.

The not so good news is that the original plan was for an $160M budget. That number came from the estimate of creating a new police precinct in North Seattle. When that idea failed, it was proposed that the money be used for 1,000 affordable housing units. Seattle can certainly use more affordable housing, and funding it has been an issue. That’s also why the budget was cut to $29M, and even at that level some council members voted against it because of doubts about the funding source.

At this point, the plan’s proponents have succeeded at clearing the hurdle of the bond’s approval; but beyond that there are few details. Instead of a thousand units they’re hoping for several hundred units. Detailed plans for how to spend the money come next.