• Mayor Murray announces goal to combat Seattle's skyrocketing rents

    Updated:

    SEATTLE - Mayor Ed Murray has a new goal to combat what advocates call Seattle's housing emergency.

    One possibility would be to try and do away with the state’s ban on rent control.

    The mayor admitted his new goal was a stretch – but he says it’s feasible, and very much needed.

    Murray announced that he wants a city task force to figure out a way to build 50 thousand housing units of the next ten years, 20 thousand of which would be set aside for people making 80 percent of the area median income.

    The rest would be at market value.

    A new report found rent in King County rose 2 percent this quarter to an average of $1,300 per unit.

    Affordable housing advocates announced their own ideas earlier this month.

    Advocates want the city to issue $500 million in bonds to fund low income housing and want to repeal the state's ban on rent control so the city can stabilize what tenants pay.

    "Without that, rent will continue to rise and our city will become more and more unaffordable," said Ishbel Dickens with the Community Housing Caucus.

    One option not sitting well with the business community is that the city is considering forcing developers of any commercial or multi-family residential project to pay what's called a linkage fee for affordable housing.

    Next Up: