Ideas from city council candidates to manage growth and help locals stay housed

October 28, 2021 7:40 p.m.

Posted: Oct 28, 2021 7:40 PM

Updated October 28, 2021 8:12 PM

Copyright 4 news now

SPOKANE, Washington – Every city council candidate sees Spokane as a major concern for housing stability and affordability. They all know that something has to change to keep up with growth, but they have different steps to find a solution.

When candidates meet with neighbors in their district, they hear the stories and concerns people have about staying.

“People I spoke to at the doors, many seniors are very concerned,” said Naghmana Sherazi. She is running for District 1 of the City Council.

“If we’re not careful we can see a lot of locals, especially in my district where we have a lot of lower-income families, we can watch them being pushed out of their generation homes, and that’s a problem,” said Jonathan Bingle, who is also responsible for District 1 of the City Council is running.

Much of these fears stem from the weakness of east Washington. According to the Spokane Association of Realtors, the region built around 32,000 homes between 2010 and 2019. That has driven prices up almost 67 percent over the past five years.

Everyone knows we have a supply problem and they support building more houses. The biggest disagreement between everyone is where and how.

Sherazi is a tenant. She fears that the aid money will not be spent quickly enough and wants the moratoria to be extended to ensure that people are housed until the aid arrives.

“I advocate eviction moratoriums beyond what the governor is offering,” she said.

In the long term, it concentrates on the density in the urban area with mixed use around local public transport.

“When it comes to the areas around the central city line, we have to think in terms of mixed use,” said Sherazi. “My focus would be on creating density and filling.”

Bingle, her opponent, has a different vision for the district.

“There has been a lot of emphasis on renting and the affordable, low-income housing we need, but that’s only part of the housing discussion,” he said. “We need a whole spectrum of living space to really serve the community the way it needs to be built.”

He supports the expansion, but also the expansion so that we can quickly bring more apartments to the market.

“Building is a big thing. The expansion is a big deal, ”he added. “I would definitely follow the line that is for the city. Basically, I am fully on board with everything we can do to cope with the housing crisis. “

Both would like the zoning to be updated to give families more options on apartment types.

Current Councilor Betsy Wilkerson sees these changes in the city’s future.

“We know we have some zone changes ahead of us: lot sizes, setbacks, development incentives,” she said. “What can we do to bring people to the table?”

She is running with no votes against and looks forward to working with new people on the council to achieve her goal of making home ownership fairer.

“My vision is to use the resources we have, to use our political powers to make housing more accessible and affordable for the citizens who live here,” said Wilkerson.

Zack Zappone hopes he will get the chance to work on these issues. He is running for District 3 of Spokane City Council. He wants to see more density in the city, focusing on building around centers and corridors.

“We need smart growth, which is regional growth, and we need to work to make sure it runs along the infrastructure that we have,” said Zappone. “How can we increase our infill in the city, fill in empty lots that we lack?”

He doesn’t think building is the right way to go.

“We don’t want any more urban sprawl in our city. We want it along the transit lines where we have the infrastructure to support it, ”he added.

He’s running for the pitch against Mike Lish. According to his website, housing is one of his top priorities. He wants to cut bureaucracy and create incentives to build without endangering the neighborhood.

To see just how big the housing issue is in this race, the National Association of Realtors and Washington Realtors Political Action Committee invested nearly $ 250,000 in the race. All the money went to Lish and Bingle. Lish has raised nearly $ 150,000 from Washington real estate companies alone.

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