This is nationalism
The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has proposed a rule to deny public housing to families headed by an undocumented person, potentially kicking 25,000 families out of housing and into homelessness.
The proposed rule would mean that leaseholders cannot be undocumented, even if their spouses or children are U.S. citizens. According to All Home King County, this would impact 55,000 children, possibly moving them from stable housing into homelessness.
The cost of housing is already pro-rated on the number of people with legal status, according to All Home.
“This proposed rule is incongruent with our Continuum of Care policies and values,” the organization said in an email. “The purpose of a homeless response system is to ensure there are safe housing options for all people experiencing homelessness and excluding any households in those efforts is in direct conflict with those goals.”
Out of reach
As is shocking to basically no one, it’s very expensive to live in Seattle and King County.
According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, a person would have to make $36.52 per hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment in the Seattle-Bellevue-Tacoma statistical area working 40 hours per week. That means that a person would have to work 93 hours per week at the $12 minimum wage to afford a two-bedroom apartment and 75 hours per week to afford a one-bedroom apartment.
It’s no surprise, then, that Seattle and King County have one of the highest rates of homelessness in the country, as studies show that homelessness is correlated with increases in the cost of housing.
Seattle and King County officials have acknowledged this and are attempting to put legislation in place to increase the number of housing options and build more housing in Fort Lawton.
At the same time, Mayor Jenny Durkan has announced a crackdown on vehicle residents, and the Navigation Team, a blend of police officers and social workers, can only offer 17 shelter beds, on average, each day it goes out.
The Seattle City Council moved forward with legislation that would allow homeowners to build detached dwelling units in their backyards, increasing the amount of housing in the city.
The Sustainability and Transportation Committee passed the measure out of committee on June 18, paving the way for ultimate acceptance by the City Council.
Two amendments proposed by Councilmember Lisa Herbold were met with opposition. Herbold attempted to prohibit these units from being used as short-term rental housing on services such as Airbnb and to put an owner-occupancy provision in place that would require a person to own the main house if they wanted a second attached or detached dwelling unit.
Ashley Archibald is a Staff Reporter covering local government, policy and equity. Have a story idea? She can be can reached at ashleya (at) realchangenews (dot) org. Follow Ashley on Twitter @AshleyA_RC
Read the full June 26 - July 2 issue.
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