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Agency Overview

Seattle Housing Authority is a public corporation, providing affordable housing to more than 28,000 people.

Of these, approximately 84 percent have incomes below 30 percent of the area median income. The remainder have incomes between 30 and 80 percent of the area median. Nearly 10,000 Seattle Housing residents are elderly or disabled and more than 9,600 are children.

In keeping with our mission, the agency supports a wide range of community services for residents, including employment services, case management and youth activities.

Public housing

The Low Income Public Housing program provides more than 5,300 public housing units in large and small apartment buildings; multiplex and single family housing; and in communities at NewHolly, Rainier Vista, High Point, and Yesler Terrace. Funding to cover costs exceeding rental income comes from federal subsidies and grant programs.

Housing vouchers

The Housing Choice Voucher Program, also known as Section 8, is a public/private partnership that provides vouchers (housing subsidies) to low-income families for use in the private rental housing market. It is funded and regulated by the federal government. Seattle Housing Authority administers more than 8,500 vouchers.

Senior housing

The Seattle Senior Housing Program was established by a 1981 Seattle bond issue. It includes 23 apartment buildings—with at least one in every major neighborhood of the city—totaling nearly 1,000 units at affordable rent levels for elderly and disabled residents. Seattle Housing Authority receives no ongoing operating subsidy for this program.

Additional options

The Impact Property Management division's Special Portfolio manages more than 1,600 units of housing in town homes and small apartment complexes throughout Seattle, including low and moderate income rental housing in the agency's redeveloped family communities: NewHolly, Rainier Vista, and High Point

Building and renovating housing

Seattle Housing Authority is engaged in a multi-year redevelopment of three public housing communities: NewHolly, Rainier Vista, and High Point. When complete, these redevelopments will have created nearly 4,300 new units of housing for people across the income spectrum, as well as new infrastructure, parks and community facilities.

The initial stages of redevelopment are also underway at Yesler Terrace. In addition, Seattle Housing’s homeWorks project is renewing major building systems in 24 high-rise apartment buildings.

Resident information

84 percent of residents have annual incomes below 30 percent of area median income; the average income is $13,086 per year.

Based on head of household, across all programs, race among residents breaks down as follows:

  • 44% White
  • 37% African/African American
  • 16% Asian/Asian American
  • 2% Native American
  • 1% Pacific Islander

As of December 31, 2008, waiting lists stood as follows:

Households may be on more than one waiting list.

Mission statement

The mission of Seattle Housing Authority is to enhance the Seattle community by creating and sustaining decent, safe and affordable living environments that foster stability and increase
self-sufficiency for people with low incomes.