This week we're continuing our series profiling Spokane City Council candidates who expect to file for office in three weeks.
Jonathan Bingle owns an events business, which has been on hold most of the pandemic.
He previously was a pastor, and said the two issues he’s most focused on is investments to promote business and homeownership in the Northeast.
“What I would like to see in my district is a lot more transition from renting to homeownership. We know that homeownership does a lot for the community.”
He said homeownership helps break the cycle of generation poverty, stabilizes families makes neighborhoods safer. He called for the city to invest in land trust, where the cost of the land is subtracted from the price of a home.
He also called for the city to find ways to allow more duplexes and fourplexes, and other more versatile types of affordable housing to meet the increasing demand.
“At a city level, we have to find whatever ways are necessary to allow development and allow it now.”
Bingle called for more investment in the Northeast Public Development Authority, an organization that promotes economic development in that region, and promoting that region because it is a federal opportunity zone. Federal Opportunity zones are areas that are recognized by the federal government as economically distressed, and businesses can get special tax benefits if they locate there.
He also called for a re-examination on how the city responds to those who are chronically homeless, saying the federal housing first funding requirement will not ultimately resolve that issue.
“I think one of the problems with the focus of the federal government for at least the last 12 years is they’ve been treating a human problem as a housing problem. With our chronically homeless, what we find is they’re not homeless just because they ran out of money. With the chronically homeless, we find they’re homeless because they have addictions or mental illness.”
He said the city should continue to spend all federal funds it receives that are earmarked for housing first resources on those shelters, but said funds that do not have those requirements, should toward treatment first programs.
Bingle is running for a seat in Spokane City Council District 1, which includes part of East Central, the Logan neighborhood around Gonzaga University and Hillyard. He is running against Naghmana Sherazi and Luc Jasmin III.
Stories with all three candidates are airing this week and full interviews with each will be posted online at spokanepublicradio.org.