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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)


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

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.