City council adopts ordinance for surplus public space to become affordable housing

City council adopts ordinance for surplus public space to become affordable housing

On Monday night, the Spokane City Council adopted an ordinance to allow the City of Spokane to transfer surplus public property below market value or at no cost for the development of affordable housing.

More than half of all renters in Spokane are considered “rent burdened”, defined as spending more than 30% of income on housing.

According to the city, Spokane’s percentage of “rent burdened” citizens outpace the state and national average.

“We have folks in our city working their butt off 12 hours a day and are still rent burdened. There are fixed-income seniors hanging on by a thread and we have neighbors on our streets holding a housing voucher with no place to spend it”, said Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart. “Instead of always determining the value of public property in terms of dollars, let’s also look at it in terms of the number of people we can place on that property in housing they can afford.”

The City’s Real Estate Review Committee will review and determine if surplus City of Spokane property is suitable for affordable housing development.

The Spokane City Council is the final approval of all public property disposition.

The ordinance will now go to Mayor David Condon for his signature.

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