The Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) program rewards developers and speculators, while Seattle residents pay the price. This “Grand Bargain”, devised by Seattle’s Mayor and City Council, promises to destroy established communities, displace thousands of low- and middle-income residents, and reduce family-scale housing options. Importantly, MHA doesn’t guarantee affordable housing concurrent with new development in affected neighborhoods.
The MHA program applies to all multifamily zones in Seattle. In Urban Villages, all single-family properties will be rezoned to multifamily. In exchange for providing a miniscule number of new affordable housing units, MHA allows developers to build larger and taller buildings. Currently affordable old housing units will be torn down to provide market rate housing that only high income earners can afford. Every new MHA building will increase the cost of housing in Seattle.
The City conceived MHA with negligible input from current residents. Economically and culturally diverse Urban Village communities will be disrupted and driven out by high-priced new development. All residents will face overcrowded schools and public transportation, trampled parks, clogged streets and parking, and more frequent pollution from sewer overflows. Yards, trees, and green spaces will disappear.
The City has neither plans nor funding to address MHA impacts. Since Seattle does not see fit to collect impact fees from developers, all Seattle residents will be stuck paying for the negative impacts of increased housing density. This is why everyone needs to get involved!
How Can You Get Involved?
- Read the Position Paper on Affordable Housing, Increased Density, and Livability.
- See the Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) Myths & Facts page.
- Stay informed! Join your neighborhood community council, and other groups concerned about the MHA program.
- Display a “Keep Seattle Livable” yard sign to show your support.
- Talk to your neighbors!