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.

Transit Squeeze: What We Have Doesn’t Match Who We’ve Become

Fixed-route transit was a brilliant invention of the 19th century. Now we need to work on mobility for the 21st century.

The (Obvious) Problem with Bidenomics

Ignoring the negatives in the economy—or, worse, telling voters they are misperceiving those negatives—and trying to generate excitement about the programs in Bidenomics is a risky messaging strategy.

Need for Speed? Northwest High-Speed Rail Project is an Expensive Mistake

Under even the most generous assumptions, it is extremely unlikely that any Cascadia HSR system will be built. So why do we keep wasting time, energy and money studying it?

Stuck in the Middle: Affordable Housing is Easy to Legislate, but…

The guidance being provided by the Department of Commerce is coming from architects and planners, and it focuses on design issues. Almost nothing is being said about middle housing as a business.

New Law: Making Missing Middle Housing

Within the housing market, middle housing offers the chance to live in a quiet neighborhood setting without the large investment in a traditional single family house.

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.