Spokane City Council Candidate opinion differs on homelessness and affordable housing issues
Candidates of Spokane City Council had different views on ways to make Spokane more secure and reduce homelessness. Some of the candidates debated for having compulsory drug treatment and additional police officials while others said having more houses is the best choice to keep people away from the street.
Four candidates are in the race for City Council President post namely, Breean Beggs- council member, Mike Fagan- council member, Cindy Wendle- shopping center owner and Phil Tyler- community activist. All these candidates acknowledged that there is a shortage of houses, and most people are unsafe in their areas. However, their opinion on how to enhance public safety and influence growth differed.
Beggs is running for City Council President, and also a civil right attorney mentioned Spokane city requires to increase the multifamily-housing tax concession in order to construct more buildings. The City Council has modified zoning rules that allow constructing apartments across corridors; they already have facilities such as fire station and police station to deal with higher population and traffic.
Beggs further stated several people are homeless because they lack money to pay rent and the city lacks houses. The city needs shelter 24/7. Apart from this, mental health and drug treatment should be provided.
Tyler – Spokane NAACP’s ex-president, stated people should avoid accusing landlords. The city should support housing at every stage and assist trades to have sufficient skilled workers to construct more apartments. He is accused of domestic violence by his ex-wives multiple times.
Fagan- host of a conservative radio program debated that city employees should meet home developers by doing so they can create informed policies that may reduce obstacles for building new houses, but they are not important causes of homelessness.
Fagan stated the collaboration of the city with non-profits and service providers has been very effective. However, few unlawful people residing across streets and river banks have discouraged police official. The city should make use of Ricky’s Law to investigate, that enables professionals of mental health to arrest people with mental health issues.
Fagan also mentioned the city’s drug problems could be solved significantly if there was additional enforcement at the US border along with Mexico. If he was the council president then could everything to ensure immigration authorities are doing their jobs.
Wendle- an earlier controlled branch of Washington Trust Bank mentioned, most of the rental properties are either managed or acquired by ‘mom and pop landlords.’ They disagree with tough government rules. These kinds of landlords are softer in comparison to big companies, and the city employee must discuss with builders and also with the people in the industry when thinking of advanced rules.
The deal with people is you have to hold them accountable for their behaviors, treat them with dignity (and) provide 24-hour services, “but the cure to homelessness is mostly more housing.
Wendle and Beggs both agreed that the city is experiencing climate change issues. Wendle mentioned she would concentrate more on keeping the river clean and further said she is worried about air quality. She is against the city’s plan of creating rich policies.
In order to deal with the climate change consequences, the city needs to create its own plan, Beggs mentioned. He has plans to work with various groups in collaboration to develop additional plans so as to lower Spokane’s contribution towards climate change.