Meet Your HALA Focus Group Members – Updated!

I’ve updated this post, originally posted in late March, to reflect the addition of 55 more names and applications to the spreadsheet, where you can learn more about (almost all of) the 169 people who have been chosen to represent you on the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda community focus groups. The city has sent me all but about 25 of the applications filed by the people who were selected to serve on these committees.

I’ve also added two new documents, from the initial meeting of all the HALA focus groups on Monday, April 4. The first is a the notes people left on the “aspiration wall,” which solicited feedback on HALA in general; the second is a list of questions that were submitted to city officials on green cards at the event that the city didn’t have time to answer, along with answers written after the meeting.

Original post follows.

For those who are interested in getting to know a little more about the 169 folks invited to serve on five Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda  focus groups that will advise the city on how to implement HALA, I’ve put together a spreadsheet, which I’ll update as the city provides more responses to my records request for all HALA applications, containing links to the focus group members’ applications.

Focus group members came from all over the city, and include a mix of renters, homeowners, new and old residents, and people of various demographic groups.

Unfortunately, the city did not provide a breakdown of the demographic makeup of invited participants beyond those who identified themselves as belonging to a specific group, making it hard to tell how the groups break down along demographic lines. However,  by reading the city-produced  document showing where the applicants (and the applicant pool) came from, you can get a sense of how many people applied and were accepted from different neighborhoods, as well as how many are inside dense urban villages, how many live in more sparsely populated areas, and which neighborhoods had the highest and lowest number of applicants.

Please let me know if you have any additions or corrections for the list, and check out the full roster of members here.

7 thoughts on “Meet Your HALA Focus Group Members – Updated!”

  1. I agree with Berta’s comments. HALA supports developers and enhances THEIR opportunities, not residents who want more affordable housing.

    1. I had no idea he’d done that; devastating. Is it too late to pressure the city to put it back in? I don’t see how we can address the housing problems meaningfully without mechanisms to create incentives for private developers.

      1. If you’ve been following the Mayor’s “Grand Bargain” with developers like Vulcan you’d find out that the for-profit developers are losing anything with this arrangement. As taxpayers, whether homeowners or renters, we all pay for these subsidies. I have no problem with that, since the government gives mortgage deductions for homeowners. However, it has to be fair so that the developers actually have some skin in the game. Right now they are mostly getting corporate welfare through the HALA arrangements.

        There are many other ways to support housing for the low-income such as federal subsidies through income tax reductions or housing programs, through non-profits and grants that finance conservation districts, like Seattle’s Homestead, though co-housing, self-build, Housing for Humanity etc.

        HALA is a lazy and tax-inefficient way of supporting builders not residents.
        Chopp is right. If he has any personal stake in this I would be surprised, whereas Murray’s financial support comes from Vulcan and other large developers. Look it up.

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