As I was reading articles on Seattle this past week to prepare for the Weekly Market Update, I read two articles back to back: The first one titled “Seattle Adding $1m Neighborhoods at a Blistering Rate”, and the second one titled “Zillow Data: Seattle has 3rd Largest Homeless Population in US”.
Let that sink in for a bit…
Seattle now has 38 zip codes where at least 10% of the houses in those zip codes are worth $1m or more. 58% of those zip codes were added to the list in the last three years, and 9 in the last year alone – trailing only a couple slightly larger cities in LA and New York City which each added 13 last year.
On the flipside, Seattle also ranks third in the nation for homeless population. New York has 76,341 homeless, LA 61,398, and then albeit a distant 3rd place, Seattle at 12,763. However, account for overall population with NYC at 8,538,000; LA at 3,976,000; and Seattle at 704,352; and Seattle’s homeless as a percentage of overall population is at 1.8%, compared to 1.5% for LA, and .9% for NYC.
As a percentage of overall zip codes, Seattle added more $1m neighborhoods last year than any major city in the nation. All the while, as a percentage of overall population, Seattle has the highest homeless rate in the nation as well. Can I state the obvious? Something’s not right here. I don’t have all the answers, and I know figureheads in Seattle are “working on the issue”, but come on…this is ridiculous.
All I can say is: Dear Politicians, Do your job. We elected you to take care of ALL of us.
Here's my undereducated easy first-step solution towards resolving homelessness: Seattle property tax income is exploding with the increased values...what if we simply siphoned off some of that income to create a panel that tracked nonprofit effectiveness on resolving the issue, then monetarily supported those nonprofits with some of the additional property tax revenue already coming in from rising property values? We don't need to raise any taxes to accomplish this, let's just redistribute some of our increased tax revenue to nonprofits like Mary's Place, Matt Talbot Center, YouthCare, and other amazing nonprofits working to job-train and get people from the streets into homes. Would that work?
Check out the full article on our $1m Neighborhoods Here
Check out the full article on our Homeless Situation Here
Today's guest post is courtesy of Kyle Bergquist, Guild Mortgage.