Today the Seattle Planning Commission released Housing Seattle, a report that analyzes housing information from the Census, American Community Survey as well as market data.
“The action strategy we put forward today will help Seattle address important gaps in our housing market and disparities among certain segments of the population,” stated Planning Commission Chair Leslie Miller, “Seattle is a stronger, more prosperous city if we have diversity in people who live and work here.”
The Commission’s analysis revealed several compelling findings that point to such gaps and disparities. For example, Seattle households are increasingly burdened by their housing costs. This is the case for households in lower-income, middle-income categories, and households overall. Not surprisingly the lowest income households are particularly impacted by high housing costs in Seattle and many find that they can only afford to live here if housing is subsidized. We also see that there is a disparity in homeownership rates particularly for Black and African American households. Families with children are finding it difficult to rent units that are large enough.
“The Planning Commission report adds to the evidence that it is more difficult than ever for a range of households to afford to live in this city.” stated Council Housing Chair Nick Licata, “but it particularly underlines that it is the lowest-income households who struggle and sacrifice the most to pay for housing.”
On a more positive note, many people who live in Seattle’s walkable, transit rich neighborhoods are finding that they can significantly reduce their transportation cost which helps offset higher housing costs.
“This report outlines an important connection between housing, transportation, jobs, and retail opportunities, ” stated Mayor Mike McGinn, “These connections and more are what I will keep in mind as I work to protect what makes Seattle special for all those who choose to live and work here. ”