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Sound Transit rail stations could help solve our housing crisis

Published on July 19, 2018

Link light rail trains passing at International District/Chinatown station. Photo by Steve Morgan. Image Credit: GNU documentation license, Steve Morgan, Wikimedia Commons

All of Sound Transit’s LINK light-rail stations offer opportunities to create vibrant, walkable mixed-use communities with significant amounts of new housing and reduced dependence on automobiles.

We need a bold, regional approach to housing affordability, says Rick Mohler, Associate Professor at the Department of Architecture, and  Al Levine, Associate Faculty at the Department of Urban Design and Planning. University of Washington.

As a recent Seattle Times editorial notes, Seattle alone cannot solve our housing affordability crisis. Instead, we need a bold and broad regional approach to providing more housing that leverages our $60 billion regional investment in transit.

The scale of our housing affordability crisis is daunting. Some 290,100 (or 1 in 3) households in King County spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing, while 6,320 people had no shelter at all during this year’s Point in Time Count. We need to build roughly 156,000 units of housing in King County to address our current housing shortfall, according to the King County Housing Affordability Task Force. By 2040, the total number of units needed is expected to climb to 244,000. Debating how to provide hundreds or even thousands of additional housing units doesn’t adequately address the magnitude of this problem.

Continue reading at The Seattle Times

Originally posted on The Seattle Times by Rick Mohler and Al Levine
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