Rasmussen—who visited one such development on Capitol Hill and compares its units to “small dorm rooms”—tells PubliCola he understands the “market for smaller units like that,” but says that Capitol Hill residents, in particular, have expressed concern about the new developments, and are “feeling like too many are being proposed or developed” and want the council to take a look at “whether they fit in to neighborhoods, and whether or not there should be design review. Some of them look pretty good, some of them not so much.”
Meanwhile, the New City Collegian has a story about what high rents have done to a few students in Seattle:
Amy, an international student from Korea, lives on Capitol Hill and rents a two bedroom apartment for $1,300 a month. The contract says only two people may reside there, but skirting the rules Amy now lives with three other roommates. “It doesn’t make sense. I can’t pay this much. As a result, I have three roommates, which means I live in violation of the contract.” The contract violation has left Amy perpetually anxious of eviction saying her manager checks every unit randomly and is “scared every day…I have to sleep with another girl in the same bed. I can’t have my private room.”
It doesn’t sound like Amy’s a citizen, so she can’t vote, but she is a resident of our city and her rights and welfare are just as important as anyone else (same applies to these guys). So I would like to ask Rasmussen to think about Amy and her three roommates living in a two-bedroom apartment, sharing beds and fearing eviction because they can’t afford anything else, before he considers a moratorium on any new housing. We need as many new, affordable housing units as we can get.
*Thankfully, Richard Conlin and Mike McGinn both have more reasonable things to say in that piece.