West Seattle Blog… | ELECTION 2021: Candidates for position 9 of the Seattle City Council on homelessness
The second online candidates’ debate on homelessness Thursday night featured the two candidates for Seattle City Council’s 9th position across the city, the place that Lorena González go to the town hall. The event concluded the series presented by Seattle weather and We are all in it. Here is what Sara nelson and Nikkita Olivier had to say, in response to questions posed by the Times reporter Sydney sandstone. Note that everything that follows is our paraphrase / summary, not a direct quote unless it is in quotes.
QUESTION: You both said you wanted to end single-family zoning in one way or another. What is your vision for housing and how soon would you present it?
Olivier : The real question here is whether we’re going to end exclusionary zoning… “it’s really an intersectional problem with a lot of moving parts”… we need to look at the ability to build very affordable housing. This means that we can have density throughout the city and fight against gentrification,
Nelson: I have always been in favor of density and growth (but) “we have already taken steps to end single-family zoning”, with ADUs / DADUs allowing 3 units on a lot, but when we talk about putting end of single-family zoning, what does it really mean? Remove all restrictions? We can do more.
QUESTION: Allowing more collective housing still does not guarantee very low income housing. Apart from zoning reform, how would you increase the housing stock for people earning 0 to 30% of the MAI (average average income)?
Nelson: We have affordable housing providers, and that’s their job, Maybe change the MFTE (Multi-Family Tax Exemption) and MHA (Mandatory Housing Affordability) policies, We need more housing for the workforce. work, Microhousing stopped due to code revisions.
Olivier : “If we open up all the zoning and don’t do anything for targeted development … private development” will build whatever they want. Need “progressive income generating options” ”to raise funds for social housing. Need to accelerate the development of affordable housing, work on cooperatives and community land trusts can help, “and put in place incentives for developers” to build 0-30 AMI.
QUESTION: The reader sees drugs as part of the homelessness crisis. How are you going to approach drugs?
Olivier : People often find themselves struggling with drugs after crises that leave them homeless. The people accommodated also fight against addiction. Homelessness is about affordability. What would it look like if the city approached behavioral health options with a progressive revenue stream? The city should help address behavioral health needs,
Nelson: “We have to fund (the treatment) directly. , .. It is crucial that the city focuses on this. ,,, We should allocate some of the JumpStart money for this. She thinks that settlements are a problem “because they create the opportunity for people to get deeper into” drug / alcohol problems if they have this tendency. She says it is naïve to say that homelessness is all about affordability.
Olivier : “There are a lot of people with jobs and housing who are addicted to”… “we have a fundamental problem of affordability.”
QUESTION: When camp cancellations occur, people often settle down blocks away. How do you change that?
Nelson: A policy according to which “the camps are inhuman” and saturate the awareness, these workers must be employees of the city “an army of people with clipboards, boots on the ground, knowledge of the housing available at the moment… we do not do anyone a favor by saying that we are not doing anything for the camps ”until there is enough shelter.
QUESTION: Oliver says to stop the sweeps. How to mitigate the damage caused by large camps and those who live nearby?
Olivier : They quote a person talking about cleaning up sites but not sweeping people. They proposed “radical accessibility” for garbage, hygiene stations, laundry, “peer navigators” and “having enough housing / shelters” for people to enter. “We are sweeping people away without” them going anywhere.
Nelson: Yes, “there are good neighbors in the camps” but Oliver’s “radical accessibility” would allow the parks to continue to be used for housing.
Olivier : “It’s not about saying we’re comfortable with people living in parks, it’s about saying we’re uncomfortable sweeping people with nowhere to go.”
QUESTION: Last year, a consultant estimated that tackling homelessness would cost at least $ 400 million more. Do you agree that the city should spend more?
Nelson: It’s very possible, but “before we talk about new income, let’s talk about results”.
Olivier : “Absolutely, Seattle should spend more… if we spent enough, we would have eliminated the crisis. .. We must accelerate our real estate acquisitions “and build what is needed,” It is going to take income to come out of the crisis.
QUESTION: Would Nelson consider new sources of income, which Oliver mentioned?
Nelson: First we have to have a plan, find out how much it will cost – “before we talk about new income, we have to talk about what the plan is.” His opponent and others believe that “if we just tax people more … the problem will go away.”
Olivier : “To say we don’t need progressive income generating options… ignores the fact that if we had enough money to invest to get out of this crisis, we probably would.”
QUESTION: Seattle has invested $ 23 million in programs like CoLEAD and JustCARE, but many have returned to the streets. Are these results acceptable?
Nelson: No. “We have to look at other cities that are doing better. … We need follow-up. Taking people from an encampment and putting them in a shelter is not a good option. We need enveloping services. Let’s also talk about employment.
Olivier : They spoke to a representative of the program who explained that hotels can isolate, separating people from the community they had on the street, “What we need is a low barrier solution, the housing first, “offering options, so that” every option.,. has a different path behind it “to permanent housing.” Making sure that peer navigators build relationships with people “is also essential.
QUESTION: Re: the villages of small houses, some of which, including the new head of the regional authority, do not support them. Should Seattle continue to increase its numbers?
Nelson: The city should not make the plan when it will be up to the regional authority. What we need to do is just align with our regional partners. “
Olivier : “We should put projects that are already underway online” but realize that villages with small houses are not the solution. Plus, there has to be a clear path whenever we engage someone in something – the next step on their path to housing. They also prefer to work in close collaboration with the Regional Authority.
QUESTION: Seattle is lagging behind other cities in providing sanitation to camps, etc. Should the city increase these services?
Nelson: The city must focus on securing stable housing for people. Everything else is “wasting money” that should go towards solutions, “We have to make sure that we don’t get distracted from the goal.
Olivier : “We must increase the hygiene resources in the camps, it is a public health crisis. They mention a hepatitis outbreak as the city was slow to get money for it, As we get inside we won’t have to do much about it, While the people still live outside, we have a public health obligation. “
QUESTION: Who are you voting for in the city attorney race and why?
Olivier : Thomas-Kennedy. “She understands the importance of providing public safety solutions that meet the needs of our residents.” “We should invest a lot more people to stay out of the criminal pipeline.” Also believes that Thomas-Kennedy will defend the “progressive tax option” when challenged in court.
Nelson: Do not say. “Both have good qualities… I’ll keep an open mind. “
VIDEO … is in The Times coverage of the Thursday Night Forums, which were preceded by two King County Council candidates whose race is not on our area’s ballot; Next come the City Attorney candidates (here’s our recap), before that.
FUTURE FORUMS: The only West Seattle in-person forum that we know of will be on October 18 at Our Lady of Guadalupe, with candidates in both City Council races.