Last month, Seattle residents came out to city council to show their support for the mayor’s proposed Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) program. The MHA program would address Seattle’s housing shortage by creating 6,100 new affordable housing units within the next decade for people making 60% of the area median income. You can find out more about the program in our recent article.

We’ve compiled a few testimonies below, including one from yours truly, to help you learn more about the program and discover great messaging tips for talking about housing affordability.

Brooke Brod, University District resident

The ability to have access to educational and economic opportunities shouldn’t be based on luck, and it shouldn’t be based on whether or not you can afford to buy into the neighborhood. It should be available to everyone, whether you’re the chair of a department at the university, a grad student, or a single mom who works in food services at the UW.

Liz Etta, Everett resident and executive director of the Tenants Union

I’m here to urge you to build a strong Mandatory Housing Affordability framework. This is urgent because thousands are homeless and tens of thousands more bus in just like me and spend 10-12 hours a day out here without a home to go back to until the end of the day… You have the potential to build tens of thousands of affordable housing units. Yes, you’ll change the city, but you’ll change it to help the majority.

Keiko Budech, Montlake resident

At this rate, I will never be able to buy a home in this city where I grew up and where my family has lived for over 30 years… I really want to continue to invest in this city and I really believe that we can build a place where people of all incomes can afford to live and thrive together.

Ethan Phelps-Goodman, Capitol Hill resident and founder of Seattle in Progress

Had we had just the residential component in place, we would’ve produced about 1,500 more affordable units than we did, and we would’ve produced more than 3,000 more market-rate units than we have. Both of those are absolutely critical to addressing our housing shortage… More housing, more affordable housing, and no increase in displacement — this policy is a clear win.

Jody Grage, Ballard resident

Change is one of the great constants… We cannot accept inertia that what we have now is what has always been and will always be. We need to work together and recognize we have a horrendous housing problem… Simply maintaining the status quo is not an option.

Shefali Ranganathan, Capitol Hill resident and executive director of Transportation Choices Coalition

We are in a crisis and we do not have the luxury to wait anymore. My neighborhood is a street of town homes, affordable homes, apartments, condos, and single-family homes. It is this mix that makes it diverse and inclusive and we need more of this, not less.