Share Your Thoughts on Housing Affordability Proposals

Housing Affordability & Livability Agenda Housing affordability continues to be on many people’s minds as we see headline after headline about rising home prices, rising rents, and an increase in our homeless population.  While we see many things in our community changing, what hasn’t changed is our commitment to each other and to rolling up our sleeves and solving these big issues.

That is why in August of this year we voted overwhelmingly to renew the Seattle Housing Levy.  Sustaining programs that provide home ownership opportunities and creating more housing for those most in need is a top priority.  What we also know is that the Seattle Housing Levy, while a great tool, cannot do all that is needed to address the growing need for more affordable housing.

We have been hard at work passing tenant protections, removing barriers to housing for vulnerable populations, and working in coalitions in Olympia to change state law and provide more funding.  You can check all that out at

What we want to talk about today is our Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) program, which we have spent much of the year drafting for City Council’s review and passage.  This new program will, for the first time in our City’s history, require new development in Seattle’s most dense areas to contribute to affordable housing.  This contribution is based on the City providing more capacity (allowing buildings to be taller or wider) in exchange for a developer to either build new affordable units or pay a fee to the Office of Housing (the same stewards of our Housing Levy dollars).

We are about halfway through the process of putting this program to work.  We recently passed legislation that allows this program to exist in any area of the city where we make zoning changes.  The next step is to actually make the zoning changes, and the City recently released a set of proposed zoning maps that targets these changes in our most dense areas of the city. These mapped proposals have been shaped by a nearly year-long community engagement process in which residents were asked how they would like to see their neighborhoods change. From that process, we developed a set of principles to guide the design of zoning changes.

We understand that zoning is one of the more complex tools used to harness the growth in Seattle, so we created this video to help guide you through using the maps.

Review the proposed zoning maps and tell us what’s working and what isn’t.

Your feedback will help the City find appropriate ways to increase the amount of both affordable AND market rate housing in our growth areas.



Want to dig deeper? Here are a few more resources to help you make sense of affordable housing:

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Don’t Miss the Seattle Premiere of “SEED: The Untold Story”

SEED: The Untold Story

SEED: The Untold Story

Don’t miss the Seattle premiere of the award winning documentary SEED: The Untold Story at SIFF Cinema Uptown on October 25 at 7pm.

SEED: The Untold Story is an award winning documentary about the dramatic loss of seed diversity and the future of our food, from the filmmakers behind The Real Dirt on Farmer John and Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us?

The film, created by Portland-based Collective Eye Films, features Vandana Shiva, Dr. Jane Goodall, Andrew Kimbrell and Winona LaDuke.

The Seattle Department of Neighborhoods P-Patch Community Gardening Program will be co-hosting an information table in the lobby along with King County Seed Library. Stop by and learn more about our programs.

Tickets are on sale now at

Learn more about the film at

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Mayor Murray Announces $501,415 in Matching Fund Awards for Community-Based Projects

Tavseer's 11th Yoni Ki Baat

Yoni Ki Baat from Tasveer’s 11th Aaina: South Asian Women’s Focus Festival (2015 NMF funded project)

Mayor Ed Murray announced an investment of $501,415 in matching funds to support 24 neighborhood-initiated projects across the City. The awards are part of the City’s Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF), which provides more than $3 million each year to local organizations.

The awards are part of the Small and Simple Projects Fund, one of three funds offered by Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. It provides cash awards of up to $25,000 in matching funds to community organizations committed to fostering and building a better community. The organizations that have recently received grants pledge to match the City of Seattle’s $501,415 investment with $537,295 of locally raised money, donated materials, and volunteer labor.

“Since 1988, the Neighborhood Matching Fund has supported thousands of projects driven by neighborhoods across the city. All of us benefit from the creativity and dedication of community volunteers who make their ideas a reality with the help of the Fund.” – Mayor Ed Murray

For 28 years, more than 5,000 projects have been funded in partnership with the NMF Program, and its investment in neighborhoods can be seen across the city. For more information about NMF, visit In early December, the website will provide information on the 2017 funding opportunities and deadlines.




  • $25,000 to Friends of the Ballard Civic Orchestra to organize a free classical concert series and workshops reflecting the theme of building community through music. The series will celebrate Latino and Hispanic cultural heritage. (Community match: $18,360)
  • $25,000 to World Kulturz dba Native Kulturz Group to organize a series of dance workshops and performances that interweave the Contra, Metis jig, Native Powwow and Coastal dance communities. (Community match: $26,450)
  • $25,000 to The Art of Alzheimer’s to organize a series of arts-focused activities and workshops to raise awareness and reduce stigmas about people and families living with dementia. (Community match: $37,620)
  • $25,000 to Casa Latina to engage the community in a series of conversations to help determine how Casa Latina can best continue to serve Latino immigrants. (Community match: $17,790)
  • $14,000 to La Sala to create a community engagement and social change art project about women as commodity in our culture. The project will have free hands on workshops, five public community engagement art events, and a gallery exhibition opening in April 2017. (Community match: $15,340)
  • $20,000 to International Women’s Day – 2017 to host a free event to celebrate International Women’s Day. Through story-telling, facilitated conversations, collaborative art, and dance, participants will know they are part of a caring and vibrant community of women. (Community match: $12,345)
  • $25,000 to Columbia City Theater Group to produce a play, film festival, graphic-novel adaptation, and accompanying resources for and with youth. These activities will engage youth in social justice through storytelling and the exploration of race, socioeconomics, education, and the arts. (Community match: $43,575)
  • $25,000 Sundiata African American Cultural Association to hold a free, two-day festival next February to celebrate Black History month. The family-friendly event will have food, vendors, art, and music, as well as presentations on the contributions of African Americans in the United States. (Community match: $31,640)
  • $25,000 to Amigos De Seattle to organize a series of family-oriented workshops about Guatemalan culture, history, and peoples. They will feature folkloric performances and cultural exchange to unite the Guatemalan community as well as people interested in experiencing Guatemalan cultural expression. (Community match: $15,900)


District 1

  • $25,000 to South Park Area Redevelopment Committee (SPARC) to prepare construction documents and permits for Duwamish Waterway Park improvements. SPARC will continue to work with the consultant to facilitate a community engagement and design process. (Community match: $25,995)
  • $4,000 to Fauntleroy Centennial Committee to host a free community event, A Century of Serving the Community, at the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse. Activities include a display of archives, erection of a new flagpole, and a mini carnival. (Community match: $3,000)
  • $25,000 to Van Lang to host a six-month series of free language workshops open to youth and adults for both Vietnamese and English as a second language. In addition to language instruction, there will be cross cultural opportunities to learn about Vietnamese culture. (Community match: $37,280)
  • $25,000 to Delridge Grocery Cooperative to develop the planning and feasibility of opening and sustaining a grocery coop in Delridge. It will also study the viability of the business plan. (Community match: $16,170)


District 2

  • $14,500 to Hillman City P-Patch to reclaim the accessible gravel paths and develop an accessible gardening area. It includes an update to the 2010 visioning plan and the initiation of a monthly series of events designed to engage the gardeners, neighbors, and partner organizations. (Community match: $14,245)
  • $24,415 to Somali Family Safety Task Force to host workshops to enhance bonding between Somali teens and their mothers to strengthen relationships and foster community building in a supportive environment. Attendees will participate in workshops designed to explore relationships, facilitate communication, skill building, and peer mentoring. (Community match: $18,910)
  • $13,000 to Beacon Hill Hub to develop outreach and community planning to get input to guide final programming and design of the Beacon Hill Hub building. Four charrettes will obtain input on a multiservice venue to be a unique presence for people of color in South Beacon Hill. (Community match: $43,235)


District 3

  • $25,000 to Friends of Safe Access: Street to Park to create a conceptual plan for a safe and accessible west entry to Mt. Baker Park. A design firm will work with the community in preparing conceptual drawings for the replacement of the steep path that currently exists. (Community match: $12,500)
  • $25,000 to First Hill Improvement Association to continue the work of leading the community through final design and construction documentation for improvements to First Hill Park. This phase will build off of the approved Phase 1 concept plan. (Community match: $15,350)
  • $15,000 to Seattle Poetry Slam to host an all-ages, three-day celebration of LGBTQ arts and community. The Queer Resurgence on Capitol Hill Poetry Festival will include panel discussions, workshops, and a poetry slam competition. (Community match: $7,200)


District 4

  • $7,000 to U District Advocates to activate a heavily-used alley located at 1414 NE 42nd St to make it safer, cleaner, and more inviting for a diverse community of neighbors and visitors. (Community match: $7,220)
  • $25,000 to Sanctuary Art Center to build community through the transformation of the utility boxes in the University District from ordinary obstructions into community assets that contribute to both placemaking and wayfinding. (Community match: $24,480)


District 5

  • $14,500 to 45th Ave NE Neighborhood Safety Taskforce to lead a visioning process with the community. The project will solicit input from neighborhood stakeholders about how best to address traffic and pedestrian safety concerns on 45th Ave NE, a major pedestrian and bike route serving three schools. (Community match: $8,000)


District 6

  • $25,000 to BF Day PTSA to replace aging circa-1989 school playground equipment with a new play area geared towards preschoolers and younger elementary students (K-2 grades) and neighborhood children. (Community match: $52,950)


District 7

  • $25,000 to Freeway Park Association to engage the community in a conversation about how connectivity, visibility, and public safety at Freeway Park can be improved. Three meetings will be held for area residents and park stakeholders that will result in conceptual design recommendations for future use. (Community match: $31,740)
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Tell the City What You Think at Our New One-Stop Shop for Public Input Opportunities

Add Your VoiceFor the past 3 months, we’ve been reaching out to Seattle residents through our Engage Seattle survey and campaign to get feedback on how the City can more effectively and equitably manage our outreach and engagement efforts.

During this process, we’ve heard one thing loud and clear: people want City information to be more centralized and more easily accessible.

We hear you and we are already taking steps to make this a reality!

For us, one of the most important first steps was to make it easier for residents to track and respond to public input requests from the City. The City of Seattle seeks public input in a variety of ways: through public meetings, surveys, direct outreach, online conversations, and more. What was clear is that we needed to create an online hub where we could bundle and house all of these active feedback opportunities.

This past August we did just that. We launched our Add Your Voice webpage, which serves as a one-stop shop for City of Seattle projects and topics currently open to public input. There you will find input opportunities organized by topic with clear timelines and links for more information.

We invite you to visit the site, explore the available opportunities for public feedback, and Add Your Voice!

We will continue to fine tune and improve this site as we move forward with our equitable outreach and engagement strategies. If you have ideas for improvement, please let us know by adding a comment to this post.

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Crown Hill / Whittier Heights Find It, Fix It Community Walk POSTPONED Due to Weather

Due to the severe weather forecast for this coming Saturday, and out of an abundance of caution, the Crown Hill / Whittier Heights Find It, Fix It Community Walk originally scheduled for October 15, 12:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. has been postponed.

This decision was driven by public safety concerns and the need for City staff to be available for potential emergency response efforts.

The Seattle Department of Neighborhoods will update the public when a new date for the walk has been determined.

For more information on the Find It, Fix It Community Walks program, contact Lemmis Stephens at 206.386.1907 or or visit

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Neighbors Invited to Crown Hill / Whittier Heights Find It, Fix It Community Walk

Find It, Fix It Community WalkMayor Murray’s Find It, Fix It Community Walks provide a unique opportunity for community members to identify neighborhood needs and discuss challenges directly with City leaders. The sixth walk this year will be held in the Crown Hill and Whittier Heights neighborhoods on Saturday, October 15th.


Crown Hill / Whittier Heights Find It, Fix It Community Walk
Saturday, October 15th
Sign-in and refreshments provided by Starbucks from 12:45 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Walk from 1:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Meet at Baker Park: 8347 14th Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98117



12:45 p.m. – 1:15p.m.

  • Sign-in and refreshments at Baker Park
  • The Mobile Customer Service Center will be on site at Baker Park to provide services and information prior to the walk.

1:15p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

  • Welcome remarks from Mayor Ed Murray

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

  • Walk will follow this route (map):
  • North on Mary Ave NW
  • North on 13th Ave NW
  • Southwest on Holman Rd NW
  • West on NW 90th St
  • South on 17th Ave NW
  • East on NW 85th St

2:30pm – 2:45 p.m.

  • Walk concludes at NW 85th St and 15th Ave NW
  • Department representatives and City staff available for follow-up questions


In partnership with Cities of Service, the City will offer up to $5,000 in grants for community-led projects to each 2016 Find It, Fix It Walk neighborhood. The Crown Hill / Whittier Heights Community Project Grant Application will be available in seven languages at from Friday, October 21 to Monday, November 7. If you have an idea for a project in Crown Hill or Whittier Heights, please apply!

Participants can use the Find It, Fix It mobile app on the walk. This smartphone app offers mobile users one more way to report selected issues to the City. Make sure to download the app before the walk.

For more information on the Find It, Fix It Community Walks program, contact Lemmis Stephens at 206.386.1907 or or visit

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Changing the City’s Approach to Outreach and Engagement

Message from Kathy Nyland, Director of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods:

Engage SeattleOn Monday, September 26, Mayor Murray presented his 2017-2018 Proposed Budget to the Seattle City Council. His proposal includes legislation that addresses equitable outreach and engagement and outlines a new citywide framework for community involvement to be led by the Department of Neighborhoods (DON).

The proposed legislation:

  • Advances a citywide approach to outreach and engagement that prioritizes equity and recognizes barriers to participation;
  • Demonstrates the City’s commitment to implementing equitable and inclusive community involvement strategies across all City Departments;
  • Directs City departments to develop well designed, responsive, and culturally relevant public involvement plans; and
  • Creates a Community Involvement Commission to advise on City plans, policies, strategies, and community grant funding processes and make recommendations that advance equitable public engagement and civic participation.

This legislation is now available on our Engage Seattle webpage or by clicking the links below:

Impact on community groups:

Many of you have asked what the legislation means for the future of the District Council system.  Let me be clear:  the legislation does not dissolve or disband District Councils or any other community groups. It doesn’t replace face-to-face meetings or prohibit participation by any person or group – to the contrary, it helps create more opportunities for dynamic community engagement. As Seattle continues to grow and change, the City must continually revisit and expand its public engagement efforts to encourage broad participation across all demographic groups.

Work Plan:

In addition to the legislation, DON has also identified and developed a strategy for implementing a suite of initiatives and tools designed to make it easier for individuals and community groups to participate in the civic life of our city.  This work plan was crafted in partnership with other City departments and informed by responses to DON’s ongoing Engage Seattle survey effort.

Since launching Engage Seattle in August 2016, DON has collected over 3,500 responses and discussed the effort with community members at more than 30 local events.  If you haven’t already, I encourage you to make your voice heard by filling out the survey.

Going forward, you can depend on DON to:

  • Focus on more access and more opportunity. We will broaden our reach and work with many groups, knowing that no one speaks for all. Everyone has a voice, and it is our job to listen.
  • Implement a broad range of new initiatives and tools to encourage greater and more diverse participation.
  • Work with city departments to ensure their outreach and engagement work is equitable and transparent through consultation, collaboration, and tools to assist in their work.


We hope you will join us as we continue this important conversation.

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Congratulations to the 21 Graduates of People’s Academy for Community Engagement

2016 PACE GraduatesLast week, 21 “up-and-coming” community leaders celebrated their graduation from the People’s Academy for Community Engagement (PACE), a program of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. These emerging leaders went through the nine-month program to gain skills in leadership, community involvement, and civic engagement. Director Kathy Nyland attended the graduation event at Seattle City Hall along with family members, community leaders, and city staff.

The graduating participants represent all sectors of the city and more than half are from historically underrepresented communities. In addition to attending sessions held at Seattle University, the PACE graduates had monthly homework assignments and put their skills to the test as they worked collaboratively on community-based projects, which were presented at the celebration. “We are better community leaders due to the amazing facilitators that went the extra mile for us during our over 27 hours in class,” said Patrick Jones, a PACE graduate.

PACE is now offered three times a year. The Fall 2016 session began September 27. The Winter 2017 session will begin January 21, 2017. More information and an official application for the winter session will be available in early December. To learn more, contact Hilary Nichols at 206.684.5667 or visit our webpage.


Congratulations to the 2016 PACE Graduating Class:

PACE Graduate Neighborhood District
Danielle Wallace East
Victor Straube Southeast
Andrea Lai East
Deborah Vandermar Delridge
Gwyn Howard Greater Duwamish
Jamillah Bomani Southeast
Laura Bernstien Northeast
Lexi Potter Southwest
Lisa Sawyer Downtown
Lylianna Allala Delridge
Mark Mendez North
Matthew Adkins Queen Anne/Magnolia
Monica Sweet North
Nnenna Odim Central
Patrick Jones East
Sarah Trowbridge Lake Union
Siobhan Whalen Downtown
Susan Russell Northwest
Terique Scott Downtown
Tiffany Chan Greater Duwamish
W. Michael Wong Greater Duwamish


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City Council Approves Designation of Mount Baker Park Presbyterian Church as City’s Newest Landmark

Mount Baker Park Presbyterian ChurchMount Baker Park Presbyterian ChurchSeattle City Council recently approved a landmark designation ordinance for the Mount Baker Park Presbyterian Church building. Located in Seattle’s Mount Baker neighborhood, this building joins the more than 400 landmarks in the city that represent our rich cultural and architectural heritage.

The city’s Landmarks Preservation Board approved the nomination, designation, and controls and incentives for the Mount Baker Park Presbyterian Church, and provided the draft ordinance to the Seattle City Council. The final step in the process was approval by City Council which occurred on Monday, October 3, 2016.

The Mount Baker Park Presbyterian Church was built in 1925 and designed by Albertson, Richardson & Wilson. The building is located at 3201 Hunter Boulevard South.

Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Historic Preservation Program is responsible for the designation and protection of more than 400 historic structures, sites, objects, and vessels, as well as eight historic districts located throughout the city. For more information on the landmark designation process and to view other city landmarks, visit

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City of Seattle Appoints Seven New Members to the Seattle Youth Commission

Seattle Youth CommissionersYesterday the City of Seattle appointed seven members and re-appointed the eight existing members to the Seattle Youth Commission. The appointments occurred at a special City Council Committee meeting held at 4:00 p.m. to accommodate the schedules of the students.

Appointed by the Mayor and Seattle City Council, the 15 youth commissioners work with elected officials, city staff, community leaders, and young people citywide to make positive changes in their communities through policy, organizing, and events. In addition to representing youth across the city, commissioners receive hands-on experience in the public sector and learn how to cultivate the youth voice in city policy.

Youth Commissioners serve a two-year term and meet on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays from 4:00—6:00 pm in Seattle City Hall.  Members represent each of the seven Council Districts, and there are eight at-large positions.

The Youth Commissioners for 2016-17 are:

Seattle Youth Commissioners

*Indicates new commissioners

To learn more about the Seattle Youth Commission, visit our webpage. For questions, contact or call 206-233-2044.

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