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?