Affordability VS NIMBY: A Perspective from an Apodment Dweller

Affordability in Seattle makes me think a lot about other cities I have lived in the past. I am Canadian and have lived in this city in Ontario called Waterloo. It is relatively small city of 97,000 people, compared to Seattle, and the monthly rent cost around $450 dollars in two bedroom unit with another person.Then I moved to Seattle 3 years ago and everything changed. Getting the most affordable studio unit around the University District now cost at least $1,000 a month, and the dormitories provided by school cost even more. I have been moving to 4 different places during my two and a half years in Seattle so far to find the most affordable place to live as an international student. With the tuition of over 30,000 dollars an year, international students try to do everything to save money from the living cost.

Then I found this apodment unit in the University District. It is a very small dormitory type unit, maybe around 270 square feet, but has been maintained very well by the property manager and the shared kitchen is always clean and quiet. Most of all, the price of the unit is unbeatable: 680 dollars a month with no extra charge, which comes with free internet and utilities. Furthermore, it even provides 3 month lease for the students. Compared to 9 to 12 month lease in the area, the offer is unbeatable.

My point is that, from the perspective of a third year international student from Canada, Seattle already has too many international students and young professionals coming in each year with the highest population growth in the country. For life-long tenants of Seattle, having apodments in their neighborhoods could be devastating and unwelcoming situation; however, there simply is this huge movement of young people coming into the city and apodments fulfill the needs of those population very well. Simply put, there are just too much market and demands for such type of housing at this point and the number of that population will increase year by year. That is the reality Seattle is facing and NIMBY might not work for a while.

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