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Seattle bureaucrats seek to ban single-family homes, calling them 'racist'


Housing crisis

(NaturalNews) Do you live in a single-family dwelling? If you do, then you're a bigot and a racist, according to some liberal whack jobs in Seattle.

As reported by GovtSlaves.info and The Seattle Times, the Seattle city council and mayor have seriously considered scrapping traditional neighborhoods that consist of single-family homes in an effort to drive people into collective housing – apartments and other types of multi-family dwellings – and for nothing as noble, perhaps, as "the environment" (though the reasoning doesn't matter in a country where individual rights are supposed to trump those of liberal collectivists in government).

A change (that has been rejected thus far) to the liberal city's zoning regulations, would have empowered the government to authorize the construction of multi-family housing units in all neighborhoods. And while some have labeled the idea nothing more than an outrageous Internet rumor, GovtSlaves.info noted, it is anything but.

"We can still be a city for everyone, but only if we give up our outdated ideal of every family living in their own home on a 5,000 square foot lot," said a letter from the co-chairs of the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda, or HALA.

The group was formed to assess and recommend solutions to the growing city's housing problems.

"Seattle (single-family) zoning has roots in racial and class exclusion and remains among the largest obstacles to realizing the city's goals for equity and affordability," the letter continued, whose authors never cited a shred of evidence to back up their claim and who likely thought that by merely mentioning the word "racism" they could bully opponents into backing down.

War on single families?

"In fact," the letter continued, "(the committee) recommends we abandon the term 'single family zone.'" Because, you know, racism.

A draft of the letter, passed by the HALA committee on an astounding vote of 19-3 (talk about groupthink), was obtained by The Seattle Times. Under the headline, "Get rid of single-family zoning? These conversations shouldn't be secret," Times columnist Danny Westneat wrote in July:

"A draft of the work of the Seattle mayor's housing task force includes a big surprise: They have talked of doing away with the city's single-family zoning. ...

"Most dramatically, the committee is considering a recommendation to do away with single-family zoning — which for a hundred-plus years has been the defining feature of Seattle's strong neighborhood feel."

Not surprisingly, the Times piece led Seattle Mayor Ed Murray to promptly distance himself from the HALA recommendations, as well as the panel itself.

"To advance the broader conversation about affordable housing and equity, I will no longer pursue changes that could allow more types of housing in 94 percent of single-family zones," Murray said in a press release.

Busted!

According to Westneat's piece, HALA members met in secret – which is typical of statist authoritarians – and never bothered to get the public's input on their scheme, that is, until the Times columnist obtained the letter. But rather than be ashamed of closing the public out of a process that was going to affect 100 percent of them, Murray and HALA members attacked Westneat, which, again, is typical statist behavior (blame the messenger).

Now, families pollute

"My co-chair and I are very disappointed that you and The Seattle Times have chosen to undermine the efforts of the HALA, a citizen advisory group, by prematurely releasing an unapproved draft of our report," Faith Pettis and David Wertheimer wrote in a statement sent to the paper.

"The Council and I created the HALA process because our city is facing a housing affordability crisis," Murray said. "In the weeks since the HALA recommendations were released, sensationalized reporting by a few media outlets has created a significant distraction and derailed the conversation that we need to have on affordability and equity."

There is no doubt that Seattle – which is experiencing major growth – has a housing crisis. Rent can cost more than $1,500 a month just to get a one-bedroom apartment in the city. But that has also meant that many working people earning average or below average wages cannot afford to live there.

Interestingly enough, the Change.org website includes a petition calling for a nationwide ban on single-family homes, GovtSlaves.info reported, because they "pollute the environment by increasing commuting distances, damage housing affordability, infringe on private property rights and cause the very overpopulation they were created to prevent by encouraging large houses with room for too many children."

Sources:

GovtSlaves.info

SeattleTimes.com

DocumentCloud.org

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