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Topic: affordabe housing

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September 29, 2014 at 6:04 AM

Seattle, the affordable city


Nancy Ohanian / Tribune Content Agency

Affordable housing has morphed into a loaded term in Seattle. Many residents and city leaders say it’s disappearing or there isn’t enough of it.

The idea that affordable housing is endangered in Seattle is misleading, however, because it depends on what how you define “affordable.”

Keeping housing affordable means spending 30 percent or less of household income on housing, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“Affordable housing” as a technical term in general refers to housing developed with subsidies like tax dollars or grants reserved for residents based on income.

For the average person, affordable housing means not feeling like too much of your money goes to paying rent or a mortgage.


Comments | Topics: affordabe housing, housing, Seattle

October 3, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Boardinghouses and Bellevue’s affordable housing shortage

A few irate neighbors in Bellevue don’t like pop-up boardinghouses on their street. The Bellevue City Council’s response so far is to consider an emergency ordinance to cap home occupancy to four unrelated roommates, according to this Monday Seattle Times news report.

They should think carefully about this. If giant, gargantuan homes and visions of “Animal House”-style neighbors is the problem, then city leaders ought to first consider revising design standards before these buildings go up in the first place. Single Family The Three

Limiting the number of people who can live under one roof could aggravate the Eastside’s shortage of affordable housing. To understand the problem, click on this link to see a helpful infographic by the Housing Development Consortium, a King County advocacy organization.

The boardinghouse boom is a response to local demand. Bellevue College  is converting to a four-year school. Students and low-to-moderate-income workers in the area cannot afford to live in the current housing market. Those who do often end up paying more than the standard 30 percent of their income on housing and utilities.


Comments | Topics: affordabe housing, bellevue, city council