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News Links, February 1

Lots and lots going on this week.  There are many updates from Sound Transit on upcoming plans, including approvals pertinent to northern and southern LINK extensions.

Seattle is looking for public feedback on rules for clearing homeless camp sites.

November continued Seattle’s trend of house price growth. We’re back to per-recession prices, which hopefully means more sellers will list and we can get some relief on our tight inventory problems.

Here‘s a look at the relationship between housing prices and immigrant populations from Redfin. That’s useful information for most of King county.

And this one isn’t brand new, but I just found it and it’s on a subject near and dear to my heart: How to design the perfect home library.

The Creating Homes Seminary is tonight.  There is one seat left open for registration, so it’s going to be a full house. I’m looking forward to seeing you there!

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Housing is a Human Right Panel

Last Thursday evening I braved the (not-yet-existent) snow storm to go to the Housing is a Human Right panel hosted at the Seattle Central Library.  It had a really good mix of panelists; Sandra McNeill from T.R.U.S.T. South LA, Elena Perian from the Benson East Support Group Board (a community in Kent), Andy Reicher from the Urban Homsteading Asstance Board (based in New York), and Wyking Garrett from the Africatown-Central District Preservation & Development Association (in Seattle).  The panel was hosted by Mike O’Brien from the Seattle city Council, and Rebecca Saldaña from Puget Sound Sage.

The discussion gave a really good overview of some of the projects going on in and around Seattle, and putting those in context with approaches finding success in other cities.  With Seattle and King County’s huge homelessness problem, and the difficulty in finding affordable housing (to rent or own) in the city, these are issues I’m particularly interested in.

Unsurprisingly, I found Wyking and Elena’s contributions to the panel the most exciting.  They both shared stories of successes they’ve had with their work so far, and plans for future projects that seem like excellent options to have in Seattle’s housing development mix.  With inventory in the area remaining extremely tight and the natural effects that’s having on the market, it’s great to see efforts targeted toward helping people stay where they are and retain ownership in their communities.  Real estate is all about location, location, location, but healthy, strong communities are a lot of what makes a location.

The even capped off a year of discussion on the “housing is a human right” theme and was recorded for a podcast, so if you’re interested, keep an eye out for that.  I highly recommend it, whether your interest is in housing, models of property ownership, or development in the Puget Sound region.