Rental Housing In Washington

Washington Rental Overview

The population of Washington, according to the 2010 Census, is 6,724,540. The total number of households in the state is 2,620,076. The average household size for Washington is 2.41. The total number of renter households in the state is 946,156 which means that 36.11% of households are renter households. Compared to all other U.S. States, Washington is ranked 11th in percentage of renters. District Of Columbia is ranked first with 57.99% and West Virginia ranks last with only 26.55%.

According to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the median rent paid among all renter households and housing types and sizes in Washington is $953 per month. Ranked against all other states in the country, Washington ranks 15th for the highest median rent. Hawaii ranks first at $1,353 and West Virginia ranks last at $606. Though rents are set more locally, statewide median rents provide a basic outlook of housing costs for each state.

The number of vacant rental units in Washington is 57,996 representing a vacancy rate of 5.8%. Among all U.S. states, Washington ranks 11th for the lowest vacancy rates. New York ranks first with a vacancy rate of 4.5% and South Carolina ranks last with a vacancy rate of 12.9%. As lower vacancy rates are an indication of a healthier rental housing portfolio, Washington’s rental housing portfolio is performing well above the National average.

ProgramProjectsUnits
Project Based Section 8 332 14,664
Section 202 126 4,762
Section 811 39 496
Section 515 116 3,350
RDRA 96 2,238
LIHTC 722 50,131
Senior 284 15,482
Public Housing 92 2,891
Section 8 Voucher 36 52,396
Total 980 57,781
Note: The total does not necessarily equal the sum of each program as some properties may participate in multiple funding programs.

‡This program is not project based, instead Housing Authorities provide vouchers to individual renters. In the state of Washington there are 36 independent Housing Authorities that may issue these vouchers.

The average number of units per property for affordable rentals in Washington is 59.00. The largest market for federally assisted housing in the state is Seattle at 12,501 units and the smallest is Lacrosse at 9 unit(s). 284 apartment properties provide housing for seniors containing 15,482 units. Of the 57,781 units, 2,330 units include some form of rental assistance (like Section 8) to make rent more affordable for very low income families.

Affordable Housing by Counties in Washington ranked by federally assisted units

There are 34 counties or county equivalents in Washington. The county or county equivalent with the largest population is King County at 1,931,249 and the smallest is Ferry County at 7,551. The county or county equivalent with the largest percentage of renter households is Whitman County at 54.76% and The county or county equivalent with lowest portion of renters is Lincoln County at 21.96%.

The density of Federal housing assistance at the county level in Washington ranges from a low of 18.2 units per 1,000 renter households in Whitman County to a high of 151.9 units per 1,000 renter households in Cowlitz County. The average Federal housing assistance density for all counties in Washington is 98.3 units per 1,000 renter households.

The table below summarizes the Federally assisted housing located in each county in Washington. All major affordable housing programs are provided on a county by county basis. Click on the name of the county to see a more in depth summary of affordable housing in that county.

CountyTotal Units
King County 20,597
Snohomish County 5,186
Spokane County 4,970
Pierce County 4,803
Clark County 3,867
Kitsap County 2,430
Benton County 1,971
Yakima County 1,699
Whatcom County 1,594
Skagit County 1,220
Thurston County 1,159
Grant County 1,130
Kittitas County 655
Franklin County 654
Clallam County 641
Chelan County 637
Lewis County 611
Okanogan County 484
Cowlitz County 424
Island County 369
Grays Harbor County 311
Walla Walla County 292
Jefferson County 269
Stevens County 213
Klickitat County 188
Mason County 180
Whitman County 174
Douglas County 167
San Juan County 150
Pend Oreille County 115
Skamania County 112
Asotin County 99
Lincoln County 55
Ferry County 44

Affordable Housing by City in Washington ranked by federally assisted units

We are tracking 174 cities in Washington that have at least one Federally assisted housing community. With a population of 608,660, Seattle has the largest population of these cities. There are 163 Federally assisted housing communities in Seattle which are home to about 12,501 families, most of which are lower income families.

The table below provides a summary of all Federally assisted housing communities by city in Washington. All the major affordable housing funding program breakdowns are provided. Click on the city name to get a full affordable rental housing report for each city in Washington.

CityTotal Units
Seattle 12,501
Spokane 3,829
Vancouver 3,515
Tacoma 3,346
Everett 3,190
Kent 1,393
Kennewick 1,356
Bellingham 1,225
Bremerton 1,171
Auburn 1,148
Federal Way 1,045
Bellevue 897
Spokane Valley 862
Olympia 818
Mount Vernon 756
Renton 729
Puyallup 648
Yakima 622
Lynnwood 565
Ellensburg 559
Pasco 553
Tukwila 545
Moses Lake 539
Richland 522
Kirkland 481
Redmond 480
Centralia 464
Sequim 449
Lakewood 395
Sunnyside 387
Port Orchard 382
Issaquah 370
Wenatchee 363
Marysville 345
Silverdale 321
Oak Harbor 295
Poulsbo 283
Shoreline 272
Longview 272
Walla Walla 267
Mill Creek 263
Omak 260
Port Townsend 254
Lake Stevens 216
Burlington 210
Anacortes 208
Lacey 207
Grandview 203
Cheney 189
Seatac 181
Shelton 180
Edmonds 178
Enumclaw 177
Washougal 162
Wapato 149
East Wenatchee 149
Bainbridge Island 147
Ferndale 143
Battle Ground 141
Monroe 135
Arlington 135
Chehalis 133
Connell 126
Woodland 126
Goldendale 123
Royal City 122
Toppenish 119
Pullman 110
Port Angeles 108
Othello 108
Snohomish 102
Clarkston 99
Warden 99
Elma 98
Quincy 96
Cashmere 93
Newport 93
Blaine 91
Mattawa 90
Stevenson 88
Chewelah 87
Vashon 86
Yelm 84
Ephrata 84
Aberdeen 79
Kingston 77
Friday Harbor 76
South Bend 75
Pacific 75
Sumner 74
Selah 72
North Bend 68
Gig Harbor 67
Cle Elum 66
Zillah 64
Colville 63
Leavenworth 62
Deming 61
Mercer Island 59
Soap Lake 57
Montesano 54
Benton City 53
Oroville 53
South Hill 52
Tumwater 50
Forks 50
Coupeville 50
Chelan 50
Airway Heights 50
Fife 50
Kenmore 50
Lynden 50
White Salmon 46
Republic 44
Stanwood 44
Brewster 44
Wilbur 40
Prosser 40
Twisp 40
Mabton 40
Deer Park 40
Eastsound 38
Burien 38
Kettle Falls 38
Moxee 38
Buckley 37
Sedro Woolley 36
Clallam Bay 34
Mountlake Terrace 34
Westport 32
Graham 32
Roslyn 30
Milton 29
Eatonville 28
Des Moines 27
Tonasket 26
Tekoa 26
Dayton 26
Coulee City 26
Kelso 26
Entiat 26
Buena 26
Nespelem 25
College Place 25
Ford 25
Malaga 24
Ocean Shores 24
Langley 24
Belfair 24
Woodinville 24
Hoquiam 24
Everson 24
North Bonneville 24
Concrete 24
Metaline Falls 22
Orting 20
Okanogan 20
Camas 19
Manson 19
Roosevelt 19
Granite Falls 19
Bridgeport 18
Lopez Island 18
Colfax 18
Lopez 18
Grand Coulee 17
Tieton 17
Pateros 16
La Conner 16
Davenport 15
Port Hadlock 15
Morton 14
Palouse 11
Lacrosse 9

Housing Authorities in Washington ranked by assisted units and vouchers

Housing authorities are governmental (or quasi-governmental) entities that manage various Federal housing assistance programs on behalf of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These programs include Public Housing, Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers and other programs.

There are 36 housing authorities in Washington. These housing authorities own and operate an aggregate of public housing units and administer Section 8 rental vouchers. Of the 36 housing authorities, 63.9% have both a public housing and Section 8 program.

The largest housing authority in Washington by total housing assistance units managed is Seattle Housing Authority with 16,018 public housing units under management (6,207 public housing units and 9,811 Section 8 vouchers).

The table below provides a list of housing authorities in Washington and includes each housing authorities public housing and Section 8 voucher count. Click on the housing authority name to get more details on the housing authority.

NamePublic Housing UnitsSection 8 Vouchers
Seattle Housing Authority 6,207 9,811
Housing Authority of King County 2,432 8,796
Tacoma Housing Authority 925 4,076
Spokane Housing Authority 125 4,784
Housing Authority of Snohomish County 210 3,335
HA City of Everett 620 2,539
HA of Pierce County 127 2,769
Housing Authority of the City of Vancouver 385 2,311
Housing Authority City of Bellingham 527 1,728
Housing Authority of Thurston County - 2,072
Bremerton Housing Authority 163 1,798
Housing Authority City of Longview - 1,359
Kennewick Housing Authority 189 1,113
HA City of Walla Walla 84 895
Peninsula Housing Authority 263 611
Yakima Housing Authority 150 720
Housing Authority of Skagit County - 654
HA of Grays Harbor County 415 223
HA City of Pasco And Franklin County 280 318
HA City of Renton 238 331
Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Auth 136 374
HA of Chelan Co And the City of Wenatchee - 474
HA of Grant County 218 237
HA of Island County 110 275
HA City of Kelso 100 281
HA of Asotin County 140 217
Housing Authority of Okanogan County - 240
HA City of Sunnyside 140 -
HA City of Anacortes 111 -
Housing Authority of Kittitas County 110 -
HA City of Sedro Woolley 80 -
HA of Whatcom County 63 -
Housing Authority City of Othello 55 -
HA City of Kalama 16 27
Ferry County Joint Housing Authority - 28
HA City of Richland - -

Federally Assisted Affordable Rental Housing

According to our affordable housing data, Washington has a total of 980 rental properties that receive at least one form of Federal housing assistance and are at least partially reserved for low income persons. These properties contain an estimated 57,781 rental housing units. (Note: Some of the Federal source data we use does not include total unit count for a property -- most notably the LIHTC database -- so the number of units listed here may be less than the actual.)

The Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program is the largest assistance program by unit count. The program assists 50,131 in Washington. The charts below lay out how each Federal program impact affordable housing in Washington.

Federal Programs By Unit Count Hover over a bar to view