Seattle social housing initiative submits signatures to get on ballot, but will they have enough?

SEATTLE — The group behind Initiative 135 turned in thousands of signatures on Wednesday in an effort to get its Seattle social housing initiative on the ballot.

House Our Neighbors tweeted that it submitted 29,552 signatures to King County Elections, but the group needs 26,442 of those signatures to be valid in order for I-135 to make the ballot.

King County Elections estimates that typically, 80% of signatures for the average ballot initiative are accepted and advises that campaigns submit 20% to 30% more signatures than are needed.

With that in mind, 80% of 29,950 is only 23,640, so it is possible that not enough of the gathered signatures may be valid.

Another factor is how closely a campaign vets its signatures.

“We vetted ours very, very carefully. The 29,552 was looked over one by one very carefully to ensure that our count was as accurate as possible,” House Our Neighbors said.

The initiative concerns developing and maintaining affordable housing. It would establish a public developer that would create, own and maintain public housing in Seattle.

“Social housing is publicly owned, publicly financed, mixed-income housing, removed from market forces and speculation, and built with the express aim of housing people equitably and affordably. Under public control and oversight, social housing is sustainable and remains affordable in perpetuity,” the initiative text reads, in part.

Read the full text of I-135 here.