Further evidence of extreme financial distress in Delridge

UPDATE: I have added a link to the source  for the information used in this blog entry.

I have just learned that a Delridge neighbor has received information about the number of portable Section 8 vouchers in Delridge. It appears that there are currently 302 tenant-based vouchers in the census tract of the proposed DESC Delridge project. Just to put that in a frame of reference — there are 1,977 total households in the census tract, so the portable voucher households make up 15% of all households in this area of Delridge. And none of these extremely low-income households are even counted in the Office of Housing siting policy.

This means that in addition to the 20% of extremely low-income subsidized housing units that are allowed by the siting policy, there are an additional 15% of subsidized extremely low-income households in the census tract that are not included in this count. This is in addition to what appears to be a significant number of extremely low-income households that are not receiving subsidy.

If you are not aware of Section 8, it is a subsidy program for households earning below 30% of the Area Median Income (AMI). It can be applied to a specific apartment unit (which is one of the types of subsidized housing counted in the siting policy) or it can be used by a specific household (which is not counted in the siting policy). Note that the zip code 98106 has the 4th highest percentage of portable vouchers in the city. Here’s a list published by the Seattle Housing Authority.

When do we start to question whether there are simply too many extremely low-income households in one concentrated area of Seattle? Is this really the best way to build supportive housing? Maybe it’s the cheapest, but is it the best?

Please see my open letter to the Washington State Housing Finance Commission regarding the fundamental policy disconnect that is leading to concentrated pockets of poverty within the city of Seattle.

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