Michael Luis

Michael Luis is a public policy consultant who has been wrestling with housing, growth and economic development issues around Washington State for over 30 years. He is author of several books on local history and served as mayor of Medina.

Our Missing Elite

What will it take for the political pendulum swing back to a new, more inclusive version of effective regime politics?

Why We’re Making So Little Progress with Affordable Housing

We have made distinct choices in this state and region that have made housing very expensive. And we could make other choices.

Local Character? It Really Does Complicate Housing Policy Reform

Suburban cities resist change, but the Growth Management Act created an existential challenge to these cities. Now the Legislature may compound the crisis.

Why Seattle Apartments Are So Expensive and Staying That Way

Landlords just hate to lower rents if they can possibly help it, since it would touch off tough negotiations with all the other tenants.

The Core Issue: What’s Really Driving up the Cost of Housing

Urban Growth Boundaries (UGBs) have scarcely moved in King County since they were first drawn in the 1990s, so the supply of land that can be subdivided into normal building lots has been steadily shrinking.

Let’s Talk Sense About Solving Our Middle-Housing Issues

The solution to expensive houses is to build more houses, not to build more apartments.

Remembering George Duff, Master of Moving Projects Forward

Now it’s not obvious who runs anything, and the goodwill that fueled the George Duff style is in short supply.

Our Housing Crisis: We’re Building the Wrong kind of Homes

We have an affordable-apartment problem, but we do not have an overall apartment-supply problem. What we do have is a single-family supply problem.

Realignment: How our Housing Rental Market is getting even Worse

The drops in rents we have seen in the past year have mostly happened in expensive markets where renters have been less likely to be burdened. Rents in markets that are both more affordable and have high rate of rent burden, have actually risen.

Nationwide Housing Construction Boom (But Not In Washington)

While the pandemic may have shifted some migration patterns, there is clearly still demand to live in Washington State, and the lack of home-building will ensure that prices continue to rise.