June 14, 2001

Hon. Jim Compton

Seattle City Council

600 Fourth Avenue, 11th Floor

Seattle, WA 98104

Re: Support to Extend Multifamily Property Tax Exemption to Madison-Miller Area

Dear Councilmember Compton:

The city of Seattle is an exciting and desirable place to live, work, raise a family and play. The wonderful diversity of its citizenry, the continuing improvement of the city’s schools, and the variety of cultural experiences one can encounter on a daily basis make Seattle an enjoyable, unique city. It is for these reasons that the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center operates and thrives in Seattle and intends to continue growing here.

We also want to see the city continue to be one that offers its citizens affordable housing, in neighborhoods that are diverse in every way, including economically, racially and in age. Therefore, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center asks you and the City Council to extend the successful Multifamily Property Tax Exemption (MTPE) Program to the Madison-Miller area. Extending the program to this area will help to maintain affordable housing for people in the 60- 80% of median income range. Persons in this income bracket are in jeopardy of being squeezed out of the local housing market.

Our interest in this area is based on the fact that it is a convenient and desirable area for many of our employees to live. The Hutch has a variety of workers with modest incomes -- including laboratory technicians, post-doctoral fellows and support staff -- that can greatly benefit from the opportunity to live in affordable housing in this culturally rich neighborhood. Moreover, the proximity of the Madison-Miller area to the Hutch’s South Lake Union campus makes it possible for employees living in the area to walk or take public transportation to the Hutch, thereby saving them money while reducing traffic congestion and pollution.

As you probably are aware, much of the neighboring area already is a part of the MTPE Program. However, Madison-Miller is not, and is likely to experience a continuing surge of multifamily construction that many fear will decrease the variety of housing types currently existing in the area. The area has a great deal of low-income housing, much of it operated by the Capitol Hill Housing Improvement Program, serving the low (less than 50%) median income market. New housing being developed in the area will serve more wealthy individuals. Extending the MTPE to the Madison-Miller area will aid in the retaining affordable housing opportunities for those in the middle — greater (60 — 80%) median income level.

We are an employer that is committed to this city and to improving the quality of life and the environment. We have won several awards for our efforts to reduce traffic congestion and for our support for to employees using alternative commuting options. In support of our employees and the city’s quality of life, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center fully encourages you to extend the MTPE Program to the Madison-Miller area.

If you have any questions or comments concerning our support, please do not hesitate to contact our Community Relations manager Annie Gugiu at 206-667-5215 or agugiu@fhcrc.org.

Yours truly,

 

Linda Gainer

Vice President, External Relations and Communications

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

 

cc: Mayor Paul Schell

Seattle City Councilmembers

Cynthia Parker, Office of Housing