Homelessness and Housing Affordability 

Everett is feeling the pressure from growth in the region. It is raising the cost of housing and threatening to push homeownership out of reach for many Everett residents. Too many people are homeless and need help getting back on their feet. We need to identify targeted areas for increased housing, while preserving the character of our single-family neighborhoods. At the same time, we need to keep housing affordable, particularly for those in our community whose incomes are below 80% of the area median – a group that disproportionately includes veterans, seniors, and the vulnerable. My experience on the Housing Consortium and with Cocoon House makes me the right choice to tackle these issues as Mayor.

Addressing homelessness
Virtually all homelessness can be linked to addiction, mental illness, housing affordability, and lack of economic opportunity. The problem of homelessness is complex and challenging, but there is a lot we can do. In order to keep people from going homeless and to help the homeless get off the streets, we need a range of different housing types. These include supportive housing for the chronic homeless who are ready to get off the streets and rapid rehousing for people who suddenly find themselves homeless. Housing for low-income residents, as described below, is also critical. People also need the opportunity to work at jobs that pay a living-wage

A balanced, inclusive approach to affordable housing
Housing is still out of reach for too many. First we need to protect the affordable housing units we have in Everett. That means ensuring that existing affordable housing is not simply displaced by new, higher-end development, but is replaced with affordable units. We also need to build new affordable housing stock. That means partnering with developers, to provide sensible incentives, and partnering with housing nonprofits, concerned citizens, and others who are working on this issue to keep us on track. Affordable housing should be incorporated into mixed-income developments where possible. Finally, we may need to revise zoning in some areas to increase density outside of the downtown core.

Home ownership
Individuals and families need the possibility of home ownership for those who aspire to it. I will work to put home ownership within reach of more residents. I will work with Snohomish County and other housing partners to develop a range of strategies to make housing affordable for all.