Community Over Capital

Contact: communityovercapital@gmail.com

When Affordable Housing is Under Attack? What do you do? RISE UP! FIGHT BACK!
When Community Spaces are Under Attack? What do you do? RISE UP! FIGHT BACK!

Please click “Community Over Capital” for more info.

What does community over capital seek to accomplish?
- to turn the 10th and Union Warehouse into a community center
- to end gentrification enabling corrupt tax give aways to developers (Multi-Family Tax Exemption Program)
- to create housing for people not for profit
- to discuss how the landscape of our cities can be organized so that we are more connected to each other
- to make decisions regarding the way we want OUR space to be developed

The Community Over Capital working group continues the revolutionary spirit of the 10th and Union Warehouse Occupation wherein 16 activists, the UCC 16, were arrested. In the face of the recent slew of closures and cuts to libraries, community centers, and other public spaces, we sought to restore the warehouse, formerly the site of the Union Cultural Center, to its use as a “supportive educational space for teaching, sharing and creating vibrant culture.”

Upon more research we discovered that the high-end apartments replacing our beloved warehouse would be a part of the corrupt Multi-Family Tax Exemption Program. According to the Multi-Family Tax Exemption Plan, developers will be exempt from paying property taxes for 12 years if 20% of their units are set aside as “affordable” at rents between $1000-1600/month. The “affordable” units are only accessible to tenants who make 65-85% of the Seattle Median Income, for whom a surplus of housing already exists on the market. Under this program, approximately 25 developers in the past year have received 75 million dollars in tax breaks for absolutely no public benefit. Since 2004, a handful of developers have received approximately 140 million dollars in tax breaks for absolutely no public benefit. The money developers make helps put City Council Members back in office guaranteeing the vicious cycle of “building capital” and “destroying community” continues.

City Council wants to upzone more neighborhoods, wipe out our open space, pour concrete over urban streams, and tear down existing LOW INCOME HOUSING. These extremely accelerated rates of growth, have served only to drive up the cost of housing and cause more poverty, displacement, and homelessness in our city. This can only be a case of the disease we
all know as gentrification which hits working class people and people of color the hardest. Soon our city will no longer be a place where people can gather and build communities; rather, it will be a graveyard whose tombstones are empty condos and luxury apartments.

One Response to Community Over Capital

  • donny1020 says:

    If you really take a look you will find that there are three anti-union general contractors that are awarded over 90% of this work, they are Rafn, Walsh, and MarPac.

    The agency that awards the the funds to the “non-profits” is the Office of Housing. While their is a a list of a dozen or so “non-profits” that receive the majority of these funds the arms of these groups that make construction and development decisions are controlled by a small number of people with links to these general contractors. These individuals rotate among the non-profits”.

    Primaries at the Office of Housing regularly move on to work for these developers and use there connections to further line the pockets of these three general contractors.

    While this construction is required to pay construction workers prevailing wage, the workers rarely receive this money. The Office of Housing who is supposed to monitor this issue refuses to police this issue and actively protects the developers and contractors when a worker makes a claim.

    For the most part these folks and the “non-profits” are little more than welfare pimps. When significant abuses were uncovered on a Plymouth Housing Group project the contractor, MarPac, stated that he has no control of Mexicans as they just wonder onto the job site and start working. The Office of Housing defended this general contractor. When it was uncovered that the contractor was requiring employees to pay kickbacks for the pleasure of working the Office of Housing stated that what the workers did with their pay after they cashed their check was none of their business.

    The stories go on and on and the Office of Housing continues to engage in these activities. No Seattle Mayor has stood up to the Office of Housing and demanded reforms.