DESC project for Delridge does not appear to meet the intent of the Seattle Office of Housing siting policies

75 DESC units brings the total of extremely low-income units to over 25%? This certainly appears to be in excess of the Office of Housing limit of 20%.

I believe that the DESC project proposed for Delridge does not meet the intent of the guidelines for siting affordable housing, as published in the Seattle Office of Housing Policies. It appears that there may be a significant number of extremely low-income households in this area that are not being served by subsidized housing, and thus are not counted by the Office of Housing’s siting policies. I am posting this information to a blog because I think it is the fastest and clearest way to get this information out – I am not a demographer, but what I have discovered from the census data seems compelling.

Frankly, I am stunned by the results of my census research. Living in this neighborhood I did not realize the extent of economic distress. Some key points of information from my research into census tract 107 containing the proposed DESC site:

It should be noted that this census tract includes High Point, as well as a couple of large affordable housing units that I am aware of on Delridge Way, so the Office of Housing is certainly aware of those existing units and others that I may not be aware of. However, I found something more alarming in my research:

  • Over 50% of the households earning less than $20,000 are paying more than 35% of their income for rent – I believe many of these households may not be in subsidized housing or they would not be paying so much for their rent. (Subsidized affordable housing aims to keep rents below 35% of a person’s income.)
  • What does this mean? This means that there may be a significant number of extremely low-income households in this area that are not being served by subsidized housing, and thus are not counted by the Office of Housing’s siting policies.

I believe the intent of the Office of Housing is to ensure that neighborhoods throughout the city all contain a mix of low income and higher income housing. As the Office of Housing Policies state:

Geographic dispersion of very‐low income housing throughout the city is encouraged. Mixed‐income housing (housing serving low‐income households with incomes above 50% of median income) is encouraged in underdeveloped areas in the city where higher percentages of low‐income residents or housing exist.

I think Delridge counts as an underdeveloped area where higher percentages of low-income residents exist. Too many households in economic crisis is not good for our neighborhood — and it is not a good way to support the extremely vulnerable chronically homeless population that is proposed for this project.

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13 responses to “DESC project for Delridge does not appear to meet the intent of the Seattle Office of Housing siting policies

  1. Bravo. The creator of this blog has done the leg work to substantiate what all of us who live in the area already know from daily observation and experience. I hope that our government officials realize their mistake in time to cancel this misguided project. A good project “in the wrong place”. I couldn’t agree more.

  2. Thanks to the author for the research and summary. I hope he or she is showing up at the doorstep of the decision-makers with this information!

    …not that I think it will make any difference. But we should try.

  3. Thank you concerned delridge citizen for your thoughtful analysis. I couldn’t agree with you more. I’ve written letters, but I am convinced the forward momentum of this project is unstoppable. At least your study sheds a bright light on why North Delridge is such a poor choice for placing this project.

  4. Our neighborhood is already plague by public drug use and transactions. Placing people that may already be suffering from drug abuse in this area is not helping anyone. Is there a real concern to help these people or is Delridge just a good hiding spot.

  5. Thank you for your thorough research, it’s important information I did not know about. I still support the project however. And, I would find your post more compelling if it weren’t anonymous.

  6. Great job assembling these stats. Let’s keep the pressure on, folks.

  7. Excellent blog. I support your efforts to stop the project. I hope you will continue to post.

  8. I used a link to this page in my emails to officials today. Thank you for standing up and doing the leg work. We NEED voices like this in Delridge.

  9. Perhaps DESC could be encouraged to make the project smaller with fewer tenants to make it more manageable for the neighborhood.

  10. Delridge Homeowner

    Excellent Blog!!! Thank you for putting in the time and effort to collect and post this data!!!

  11. I am a general supporter of DESC, I find the work they do important. I am not a “not in my backyard” Seattlite. But I do feel this building is much too large for the neighborhood and it has poor access to basic services the residents would need. I know they would never try to put this building in the Admiral area…even though it would make much more sense to do so.

    I think this article is very well written and thorough. Thank you for doing all this work! And Katie…if someone wishes to be unknown-you should respect that.

  12. thank you for doing the research, I support the efforts to combat homelessness, however, with all that I see from my porch this is not the time nor place to move forward with this project in North Delridge

  13. Thank you for taking this on–I am in complete agreement. I believe the city would be better off spending the money on police to enforce the crime that is already here in North Delridge. I have serious concerns about visitors or residents at the facility who become non-compliant, and what the police departments involvement will be. There are also so very few services in our neighborhood, including access to groceries and healthcare: what about the Alaska junction? What is going on with that huge semi-finished apartment complex there?

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