With Mandatory Housing Affordability in place in all urban villages, Seattleites are seeking additional answers for how to decrease displacement of low-income residents.
At the beginning of a recent “lunch & learn” session devoted to the topic of displacement at the City Council chamber, Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda joked that the meeting should have been titled “MHA: now what?”
The ink is barely dry on the legislation Mayor Jenny Durkan signed into law on authorizing citywide implementation of Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA), but already local political figures and community advocates are clamoring over how to address the problem of displacement in Seattle.
According to the UC Berkley’s Urban Displacement Project, residential displacement is “the process by which a household is forced to move from its residence — or is prevented from moving into a neighborhood that was previously accessible to them — because of conditions beyond their control.”
Commercial displacement, in which small, often minority-owned businesses are forced to relocate or close operations, usually occurs alongside residential displacement.
Largely attributed to gentrification, displacement is attracting nationwide attention these days, with many metro areas, including Seattle, puzzling over how to prevent it from further harming residents and communities. The question of how to create opportunities for people to return to their historical neighborhoods, such as in the case of African Americans displaced from the Central District, is also part of the discussion.
Since then Councilmember Lisa Herbold has introduced her Displacement Mitigation legislation and the City Council at large passed a companion resolution to the Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) bill calling for the City and its partners to “mitigate displacement and address challenges and opportunities raised by community members during the MHA public engagement process.”