Everyone needs a safe, healthy, affordable home.

Regardless of income or background, a home is a basic necessity that allows everyone to pursue and achieve their goals.

There is a severe lack of affordable housing in East King County. Housing prices are rising much faster than wages can keep up.

When we can’t afford to live where we work and have family, we have to make difficult choices: to move away from our communities and take on a long commute, or cut back on other vital basic needs.

Though the housing shortage is not always visible, a growing number of people in our communities are living unsheltered in cars or tents. King County analysis shows a gap of 94,100 mid- and low-income affordable housing units on the Eastside.

Housing affects everyone in our community

Children

There were, 966 homeless students1 in East King County in the 2016-17 school year. In the 2019 King County Point-In-Time Count, an estimated 1,089 homeless individuals were unaccompanied youth and young adults.2 Homelessness has particularly adverse effects on children and youth, including hunger, poor physical and mental health, and missed educational opportunities.3

Seniors

60% of senior households who rent on the Eastside are paying more than 30% of their income to rent.4 By 2025 an estimated 53,793 seniors in King County will be living in poverty.5

Commuters

Traffic is consistently cited as one of King County’s most pressing issues. Nearly 57,000 people in our region commute more than 90 minutes to work each way.6 Roughly half of Issaquah School District teachers live outside the district, and housing costs are a main deterrent to filling open positions.7

Communities of Color

Discriminatory practices create higher rates of poverty and economic instability among people of color, making it more difficult to afford rising housing prices.8, 9 People of color account for 57% of King County’s homeless population but only 17% of the total population.10

Families

In King County, average rents increased 43% from 2012 to 2017. 11 34% of all households in East King County are cost-burdened, meaning they pay more than 30% of their income to rent.12 Since 2011, jobs grew 21%, which housing grew 13% in the Puget Sound Region, and many families are challenged to afford a home.13 To afford the average one-bedroom rent of $1,878 in King County, a family must earn $75,120/yr.14

Public Resources

Ensuring everyone has a safe and stable home can save King County tax payers as much as $30,000 a year per person housed.15 Each East King County city is developing an affordable housing plan that efficiently leverages tax dollars and regional transportation in response to the growing needs of our communities.

Learn more about the ways housing affects our entire community.

Resources

Imagine Housing is using proven solutions to end the housing crisis.

Promote Resident Stability

We help our residents stay in their homes, create community, and achieve their goals.

Supportive Services

Community Engagement

We can’t do this alone. We work closely with community volunteers and partners to provide resources and advocate for policy solutions.

Get Involved

Build More Housing

Our Imagine 1000 goal is to have 1,000 apartments, serving more than 2,400 people, by 2022.

Our Communities

What You Can Do

Advocate
Donate
Volunteer

You make an affordable Eastside possible.

Citations

  1. State of Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 2018

  2. All Home King County, 2019 Count Us In Report, pg 10

  3. American Psychological Association

  4. A Regional Coalition for Housing Housing Needs Analysis, 2015

  5. City of Seattle, Quiet Crisis: Age Wave Maxes Out Affordable Housing, King County 2008-2025, 2009

  6. Seattle Times, Seattle’s mega-commuters: We spend more time than ever traveling to work, 2017

  7. The Issaquah Press, Frustrated by the lack of affordable housing, middle-class workers are giving up on Issaquah, 2017

  8. ThinkProgress, What It’s Like to Be Black and Homeless in Seattle, 2015

  9. United Way of King County, Understanding King County Racial Inequities, 2015

  10. All Home King County, 2019 Count Us In Report, pg 11

  11. Regional Affordable Housing Task Force for King County Final Report, December 2018

  12. A Regional Coalition for Housing Housing Needs Analysis, 2015

  13. Microsoft Affordable Housing Analysis, data valid through November 2018

  14. National Low Income Housing Coalition and Zillow.com/data, June 2019.

  15. Homeless Rights Advocacy Project, At What Cost: The Minimum Cost of Criminalizing Homelessness in Seattle and Spokane, 2015

  16. Enterprise Community Partners/Wakefield Research, Health Begins with Home, April 2019