Housing plan isn't what Mukilteans want
Last updated 3/4/2020 at 2:13pm
In her article in the Mukilteo Beacon, Feb. 12, 2020, "Mayor’s Message: City's 'Action Plan' is not to develop affordable housing," Mayor Gregorson states: "[The Housing Action Plan] is not a plan to develop affordable housing." She adds that the housing created would be for "Mukilteans" and that "For me, this is about our seniors’ and our kids' abilities to make their home in this community." (Restricting the units for the use of Mukilteans would violate the Fair Housing Act.)
However, two grant documents submitted by the mayor tell a different story:
Mayor Gregerson's letter of Sept. 30, 2019, to the Washington State Department of Commerce states that the purpose of the housing action plan grant is to “...encourage the construction of additional affordable and market rate housing...”
The E2SHB 1923 Grant Application Form stresses the purpose of the Housing Action Plan is Affordable Housing: "The City Council has expressed support for recent affordable housing legislation by directing staff to bring forward with a resolution of intent regarding HB 1406 (i.e. sales tax rebate) in October 2019. Previously, the City was actively involved in the formation of the Alliance for Housing Affordability (AHA) of Snohomish County, created in 2014 through Snohomish County Tomorrow. The City continues to be an active participant with the AHA and other inter-jurisdictional efforts to promote and contribute to an adequate and diversified supply of housing throughout the County." (p. 6)
Further, Public Participation will focus entirely on creating support for Affordable Housing decisions already made in private: "Public participation will focus on education around and the need for affordable housing." (pp. 7-8). Yet, there is no public demand at all for affordable housing projects in Mukilteo to meet regional needs for such housing.
All city goals for the Housing Action Plan are about Affordable Housing: "Staff goals for the HAP are to better understand the scale of affordability issues in Mukilteo, engage with the public, evaluate best practices and applicability to Mukilteo’s unique characteristics, and to generate a list of feasible actions for Mukilteo to take towards improving housing affordability." (p. 8) The goal is for 2,660 additional affordable housing units, which the report admits is probably more units than is possible (if the units are single-family homes). (p. 8)
Although the Housing Action Plan states: "The HAP provides an opportunity for the City to update the 2015 AHP and have conversations in the community about how to provide housing to the diverse needs of Mukilteo residents." (p. 10) It goes on to note that the purpose of the plan to meet regional needs for low-cost housing, that is, actually not for Mukilteo "seniors and our kids" as the grant application suggests. (p.11).
Mayor Gregerson's housing plan will not meet the needs of Mukilteo families, but rather contribute to solving regional (mainly Seattle's) immense housing shortage, possibly doubling the population of Mukilteo, and transforming our town of single family homes into a maze of apartment complexes.