Housing >> Affordability >> Rental Supply

Low-income households rely on a limited supply of subsidized rentals. 

Households that pay a high percentage of their income for housing have little left for other necessities. The quest for affordable housing (costing less than 30% of income) can mean moving far from family, friends, work, school, and childcare arrangements. People who live in unaffordable housing may scrimp on food and forego necessary healthcare and medications.

Because most units in the rental market are unaffordable to low-income renters, many low-income households compete for a limited supply of subsidized rentals.  In 2014, approximately 55,660 rental units in Seattle and King County received some form of public subsidy. 

  • Of the 99,487 rental units affordable to households with incomes of $26,500, about 21,550 (22%) are subsidized. 
  • 21% (34,918) of units affordable to households with incomes of $44,100 are subsidized.
  • Of the 234,334 units affordable to households with incomes of $70,560, 23% (54,278) are subsidized.
  • For households making $88,200, 21% (55,660) of affordable rental units are subsidized.
  • Many subsidized units are not reserved for people with specific incomes.  Thus, the approximately 55,660 subsidized rentals affordable for households with incomes $88,200 include those affordable for households with incomes of $26,500.