Concrete Strike is Hitting Low-Income Communities Hard

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Rob

With over 5,000 Seattle residents waiting for affordable housing, an ongoing strike continues to delay the construction of up to 1,800 low-income units.

The Housing Development Consortium of Seattle-King County (HDC), which encompasses all major nonprofit housing developers in the county, claims that the strike has hindered affordable housing construction.

Builders have suspended eleven projects in King County until the strike ends. According to HDC, some projects rest at 90% complete. One project in Rainier Beach has been waiting for concrete flooring since December 1, 2021; it's first on the schedule when the strike breaks.

"The strike is having a grave impact on our ability to respond to the homelessness and housing state of emergency in King County. We want workers to have fair wages and benefits, but we also want those without housing to be closer to homes," said Brian Lloyd, president of HDC's board of directors. "Right now, neither of those things are happening."

The nonprofit's sponsors sit on costs as high as $20 million for lapsed deadlines. The HDC plans to fill the shortfall with funds from other affordable housing projects. Still, even if the strike broke today, the community would lose 120 housing units.

The strike between Teamsters Local No. !74 and King County and Seattle sits at an impasse. Negotiators for the county say they're offering the best they can; teamsters won't compromise their demands.

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