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Legislature Considers Caps on Condo Conversions

Liz Jones
03/12/2007

In Olympia, the state House is considering legislation that would limit some condo conversions in Seattle and other cities. The measure aims to help preserve housing for low-income apartment renters. KUOW's Liz Jones has more.

TRANSCRIPT

THE PROPOSED LEGISLATION IS A RESPONSE TO A SPIKE IN CONDO CONVERSIONS IN THE PUGET SOUND AREA. IN SEATTLE ALONE, THE TOTAL NUMBER OF CONVERTED APARTMENTS HAS INCREASED FROM 430 UNITS IN 2004 TO MORE THAN 2,300 UNITS LAST YEAR. THAT'S ACCORDING CITY STATISTICS REPORTED IN THE SEATTLE P.I. IN KING, PIERCE AND SNOHOMISH COUNTIES COMBINED, DEVELOPERS CONVERTED NEARLY 7,000 APARTMENTS TO CONDOS LAST YEAR. THE HOUSE BILL WOULD PUT A CAP ON THE NUMBER OF APARTMENTS WITH LOW-INCOME TENANTS THAT COULD BE CONVERTED TO CONDOS. SOME WHO OPPOSE THE CAP ARGUE THAT CONVERTED APARTMENTS ARE OFTEN AN AFFORDABLE OPTION FOR FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYERS. THE BILL WOULD ALSO REQUIRE HIGHER PAYMENTS TO DISPLACED RENTERS. CURRENTLY, RELOCATION PAYMENTS ARE LIMITED AT 500 DOLLARS PER UNIT. THE BILL WOULD RAISE THAT LIMIT TO THREE MONTHS' RENT. THE HOUSE IS EXPECTED TO VOTE ON THE MEASURE TODAY OR TOMORROW. THE SENATE CURRENTLY HAS A DIFFERENT VERSION OF THE BILL. LIZ JONES, KUOW NEWS.

© Copyright 2007, KUOW

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