Letter to the Editor: Why should we subsidize just anybody who wants to live here?

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

To the Editor:

I grabbed my wallet yesterday when I saw Shoreline City Council candidate Jin-Ah Kim's statement that "we need more affordable housing so anybody who wants to live in Shoreline and be part of our special community, can do so."

I don't think that just "wanting to live in Shoreline" means that you should be able to do so at somebody else's (the taxpayers') expense. Perhaps one could make an argument that the taxpayers should subsidize housing for people who are making significant contributions to the community but cannot afford to live here (I'm not convinced, but at least the argument has merit), but I can't for the life of me think of a reason that we should subsidize just anybody who wants to live here. Our property taxes are already among the highest in Washington State.

Maggie Willson


Anonymous,  September 20, 2017 at 5:22 AM  

"Affordable" housing has become a meaningless buzzword and tactic for real estate developers to crybully their way to receive tax breaks and incentives.

Shoreline can only accommodate so much affordable housing, due to it's small footprint size and small population. We cannot make a commitment to welcome infinite numbers of people to live in Shoreline. It's just not feasible. I don't know what has gone on with my fellow progressives, but they start to sound like out and proud communists more and more as the days go on. The hatred they spew for anyone who owns their own home is vitriolic. Ask any one of them if they think it's okay for the city/county/state to eminent domain a modest home for not even affordable housing, but more dense housing, and they'll enthusiastically nod their heads. It's concerning.

We need to ensure that existing section 8 housing is well-maintained and that Ronald Commons and other affordable housing complexes are well-maintained and assimilate into our communities, schools, and workplaces.

We need to stop incentivizing the destruction of older, affordable starter homes to appease the whims of developers with their collective density fetish.

We need to take a realistic look at what Shoreline can collectively do to help others, within reason, and proportionately to the size of our community.

We can accommodate vetted, screened tent cities with rules at churches with services providers, but cannot accommodate the entire state's homeless population with amateur, low-barrier backyard encampments, nor can we allow camping anywhere and everywhere on sidewalks, in parks, or on trails.

We can accommodate a methadone clinic at Theraputic Health Services (THS) and a Soboxone program for heroin addicts at ICHS, as long as these organizations do their part to ensure we aren't creating a "heroin day camp" rampant with crime, needle litter, and associated vagrancy. We cannot take on the burden of a Heroin Injection Site and the inevitable associated community deterioration.

I appreciate Ms. Kim's courage to step up to the plate and bring new life to the city council. Although I'll never forgive McGlashan for what he's done to our neighborhoods with the obscene upzones, my intuition tells me that we may end up with more upzones, more developer tax-breaks, and not just an indifference toward Safe Injection Clinics in Shoreline, but an all out campaign to welcome them here.

Anonymous,  September 20, 2017 at 8:52 AM  

The letter writer must be unaware that the City of Shoreline ALREADY subsidizes new residents. Have you investigated the Property Tax Exemption (PTE) that the City GIFTS to developers? They get a 12-year property tax exemption if they provide a tiny number of units for those making 70% of the King County median income. This is not in conformance with the regional recommendation of 40% to account for the high median income in King County.

In fact, this property tax exemption applies to the light rail stations rezones at 185th and 145th, apparently you are fine with wealthy developers getting subsidies.

Furthermore, the City of Shoreline does NOT AUDIT the availability of the "affordable" units the way the City of Seattle does, there is absolutely no accountability on the part of the developer.

Check your facts before you get steamed.

Anonymous,  September 20, 2017 at 11:29 AM  

Perhaps because diversity is good for our community? I personally think it is, and should be encouraged.

Anonymous,  September 20, 2017 at 5:44 PM  

I am so tired of our city looking like something out of the 3rd World. The litter, needles, having to explain to your children why these people are sitting on the ground begging for money. It use to be the signs would say will work for $$ not anymore. I have told them of nearby stores that are hiring and their answer is either. "I am disable", Yea I am too, but I still work. Geez. I even had one gal spit at me. Just because they want to live here doesn't mean that they don't need to be responsible for making that happen themselves. Feed a man a fish and sure enough he is going to be back for his next meal! How about teaching him how to fish and he can feed himself????

Maggie Willson,  September 21, 2017 at 7:30 AM  

To Anonymous 2 (9/20 8:52 am):

Of course I know that the government (ie, the taxpayer) already subsidizes some "affordable housing". Expanding that freebie to "anyone who wants to live in Shoreline" would be even worse.

To Anonymous 3 (9/20 11:29 am):

What kind of "diversity" are you talking about? Contribution diversity? Are you saying that we have too many net tax payers and not enough net tax consumers? And why on earth would you want to expand the population of net tax consumers?

Anonymous,  September 21, 2017 at 9:24 PM  

Diversity is an honorable goal. As long as people are supporting themselves and not being a burden on others.

billyking September 22, 2017 at 9:47 AM  

its coming and theres little the citizens can do about it...

Ian Taylor,  September 23, 2017 at 10:21 AM  

I support diversity, compassion, kindness, generosity, civility, accountability, fairness, love and excellent food.

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