microhousing-evolution

Seattle Is Regulating Away Micro-Housing

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

Although micro-housing is not a nationwide phenomenon, it has become a niche option in cities with expensive housing. College students, young professionals, and beginning families, rather than living in the suburbs or cramped with roommates in cities, can live alone in centrally-located apartments that are slightly smaller than the average hotel room, and often have shared common spaces. Starting in 2009, Seattle became a leader in micro-housing development. But as this momentum grew in the Emerald City, NIMBY opposition arose, followed by restrictive regulations.… Read more

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For Seattle Teachers, Summer Vacation Rolls On With Work Strike

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

How would you like a job that pays average salaries and benefits exceeding $90,000, offers a nearly 3-month summer vacation, and requires some of the shortest work days of its profession? For the average U.S. household–median income $51,939—this might seem attractive. But for Seattle’s unionized public school teachers, it merits enough outrage to go on strike…[read the rest at Forbes]… Read more

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How Ironic: America’s Rent-Controlled Cities Are Its Least Affordable

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

Bad ideas die hard, and rent control is no exception. For several decades, there has been near-consensus among economists that laws which cap or regulate rents are counterproductive, and most cities have ended them. But there are a few that still have rent control, and others have spoken of reviving their policies, including Seattle, which held a town hall meeting about the matter on Thursday. The main supporter of rent control there was Kshama Sawant, the Socialist Party councilor who believes that Seattle must “build a movement around housing justice.” I’m not sure if by that she meant the city should adopt a measure that raises housing prices, but that would likely be the effect.  … Read more

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Minimum Wages of Inequality

[Originally published by the American Spectator]

 

It is remarkable these days how quickly an idea, once resurrected by a spastic media, can move from the fringe into the mainstream. Formerly the utopian din exclusive to protesters swarming the nation’s Burger Kings and Pizza Huts, minimum wage reforms are now reality for some cities.

At the federal level, the debate has remained relatively moderate, with President Obama recently urging Congress to increase the wage to $10.10 an hour. But in cities, conversation has become action. Last November, Seatac, WA, became the first city to raise its minimum wage to $15, a seemingly radical move that was attributed to the region’s socialist rumblings.… Read more

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Forgetting What Got Them Here

[Originally published by the American Spectator]

 

To old-timers who have lived through New York City’s recent history, the election of Democratic mayor Bill de Blasio must have seemed odd. Here was a city that, even into the 1990s, was getting national press for its crime, business flight, and general “rotting” amidst years of left-wing rule. It wasn’t until after the pro-market reforms of mayors Rudolph Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg that New York reclaimed its role as America’s glistening metropolis. Yet this November residents, in a bout of amnesia, elected someone whose talk of government expansion resembled that made back when the city was broke and burning.… Read more

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