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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Tax Breaks For "Affordable" Rent

Here's an interesting/amusing little blurb from The Stranger:

The city council's housing committee voted May 16 to put off a motion that would grant $1.5 million in tax breaks to a University District developer in exchange for "affordable" rental units that would cost nearly $200 more than the average rent for the neighborhood. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $757, according to local rental analysts Dupre + Scott.

In exchange for the tax break, the developer, Lothlorien Apartments, would make 30 percent of its units "affordable" (that is, costing no more than 30 percent of a renter's monthly income) to renters making up to 70 percent of the Seattle median, or $38,150 for one person. For a one-bedroom, that works out to $1,022 a month.
For most of the Seattle area, "affordable housing" isn't really an issue—as long as you rent. In many neighborhoods rent comes in well below the 30% "affordable" threshold. Before we moved to our current free digs, my wife and I were paying just $850 per month for a nice two-bedroom townhouse in Woodinville, which figured out to under 20% of our monthly income (which consisted of only my paycheck, and was almost exactly at the median). I imagine that there is a need for more "low income" housing, but for people making the median household income down to as low as 60% of the median, there are plenty of "affordable" options.

(Erica C. Barnett, The Stranger, 05.18.2006)

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not sure I understand your post Tim.

Are you saying that the "affordable" one bedrooms in that complex are over 1,000 dollars a month?

gizmo99 said...

What do you guys think about the recent article on cnn

http://money.cnn.com/2006/05/18/real_estate/reguide_what_up_in_washington/index.htm

lesserseattle said...

one thing that is funny about trying to put "affordable housing" in the University District is that you have a huge transient population, many of whom are not residents of the area and many of whom do not earn any income. any indices of "affordable housing" in the U District would be wholly unreliable as i see it--which probably explains why their "affordable" threshold is so far off from the rest of the community.