Affordable Housing In Seattle
King County, Washington

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There are 361 low income housing apartment complexes which contain 32,678 affordable apartments for rent in Seattle, Washington. Many of these rental apartments are income based housing with about 12,334 apartments that set rent based on your income. Often referred to as "HUD apartments", there are 2,819 Project-Based Section 8 subsidized apartments in Seattle. There are 22,748 other low income apartments that don't have rental assistance but are still considered to be affordable housing for low income families.

The HUD funded Public Housing Agency that serves Seattle is the Seattle Housing Authority.

Affordable Apartments in Seattle

Image of Esperanza Apartments
6940 37th Avenue South
Seattle, Washington
Esperanza Apartments is a 84 unit low income housing apartment community that provides 1 bedroom apartments for rent in Seattle.
Apartments in this community are not rent subsidized. However, this apartment community has rents considered affordable for low income families in Seattle.
Low Income Housing Tax Credit
Image of Broadway East Apartments
936 Broadway East
Seattle, Washington
Broadway East Apartments is a low income housing apartment community that provides 1-3 bedroom apartments for rent in Seattle.
Image of The Theodora - Volunteers of America
6559 35th Ave NE
Seattle, Washington
The Theodora - Volunteers of America is a low income housing apartment community that provides 1 bedroom apartments for rent in Seattle.
934 N 98th St
Seattle, Washington
Heather Apartments is a 16 unit low income housing apartment community in Seattle.
Some or all apartments in this community are rent subsidized, which means rent is income based.
Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities Project Based Rental Assistance Accessible Units Persons With Disabilities
117 18th Ave
Seattle, Washington
El Nor House is a 55 unit low income housing apartment community in Seattle.
Some or all apartments in this community are rent subsidized, which means rent is income based.
Project-Based Section 8 Low Income Housing Tax Credit Project Based Rental Assistance

Housing Authorities that serve Seattle

The Seattle Housing Authority is a Section 8 and Public Housing public housing agency in Seattle, Washington.

Understanding Affordable Housing in Seattle, Washington

Seattle, WA Affordable Housing Snapshot

Total Affordable Apartment Properties 361
Total Low Income Apartments 32,678
Total Rent Assisted Apartments 12,334
Percentage of Housing Units Occupied By Renters 53.87%
Average Renter Household Size 1.89
Total Population 653,017
Housing Units 296,633
Average Household Size 2.12
Median Household Income $70,594 ±$880
Median Rent $1,185 ±$10
Percentage Of Renters Overburdened 43.87% ± 1.1pp

Population and Household Demographics

Seattle is a City in King County, Washington with a population of 653,017. There are 296,633 households in the city with an average household size of 2.12 persons. 53.87% of households in Seattle are renters.

Income and Rent Overburden in Seattle

The median gross income for households in Seattle is $70,594 a year, or $5,883 a month. The median rent for the city is $1,185 a month.

Households who pay more than thirty percent of their gross income are considered to be Rent Overburdened. In Seattle, a household making less than $3,950 a month would be considered overburdened when renting an apartment at or above the median rent. 43.87% of households who rent are overburdened in Seattle.1

Data derived from 2010 Census and 2015 5-Year American Community Survey. Learn More.
1 Margin of Error: ± 1.1 percentage points.

Area Median Income In Seattle

Affordable housing program eligibility is always determined by one's income. Each household's income is compared to the incomes of all other households in the area. This is accomplished through a statistic established by the government called the Area Median Income, most often referred to as AMI. The AMI is calculated and published each year by HUD.

HUD often uses an area larger than a city to determine the AMI because HUD anticipates those searching for housing will look beyond individual cities during their housing search. For Seattle, the AMI is calculated from all households within King County.

In Seattle, HUD calculates the Area Median Income for a family of four as $96,000

Most affordable housing programs determine eligibility based on the percent of AMI a given household's income is. Among the programs that determine eligibility based on the AMI are Section 8, HOME, LIHTC, Section 515, 202 and 811.

Rental Assistance in Seattle

Rental assistance is a type of housing subsidy that pays for a portion of a renter’s monthly housing costs, including rent and tenant paid utilities. This housing assistance can come in the form of Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers, project-based Section 8 contracts, public housing, USDA Rental Assistance (in Section 515 properties) as well as HUD Section 202 and 811 properties for elderly and disabled households.

Seattle HUD Rental Assistance Income Limits

AMI Band 1 Person 2 Person 3 Person 4 Person 5 Person 6 Person 7 Person 8 Person
30% $20,200 $23,050 $25,950 $28,800 $31,150 $33,450 $37,140 $41,320
50% $33,600 $38,400 $43,200 $48,000 $51,850 $55,700 $59,550 $63,400
80% $50,400 $57,600 $64,800 $72,000 $77,800 $83,550 $89,300 $95,050

You can identify apartment communities that participate in a program that provides rental assistance by looking for the tags in the apartment list above. View Apartments.

Low Income Housing Tax Credits in Seattle

The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program aims to create affordable rental housing for low and very low income families.

From 1987 to 2009, 237 low income apartment communities containing 18,539 rental apartments have been constructed and made affordable to low income persons in Seattle by the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program.

You can identify apartment communities that participate in the program in Seattle by looking for the tag in the apartment list above. View Apartments.

If your income is less than 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI), you should not expect to pay more than the rent value for a unit in the table below. However, Affordable apartment communities that receive funding through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program may have rental units that are not subject to income and rent limits.

Rent limits for the LIHTC Program are determined so that a household making the maximum income for the expected household size of the unit would only pay 30% of their income for rent.

Seattle Low Income Housing Tax Credit Income Limits

AMI Band 1 Person 2 Person 3 Person 4 Person 5 Person 6 Person 7 Person 8 Person
50% $33,600 $38,400 $43,200 $48,000 $51,850 $55,700 $59,550 $63,400
60% $40,320 $46,080 $51,840 $57,600 $62,220 $66,840 $71,460 $76,080

For example, the expected household size for a two bedroom apartment is 3 people. Using the table above, the maximum income for a 3 person household at 60% of the AMI in Seattle is $51,840 a year, or $4,320 a month. To determine the maximum rent in the table below we multiply the monthly maximum income, $4,320 by 30% to get a maximum rent of $1,296 a month.

Rent for units in the LIHTC Program include a utility allowance which is determined by the average monthly cost of utilities paid directly by residents. This allowance has not been subtracted from the rents in the table below. These utility allowances are set on a property by property basis.

% of AMI Studio 2 Bed 3 Bed 4 Bed 1 Bed 5 Bed
50% $840 $900 $1,080 $1,248 $1,393 $1,537
60% $1,008 $1,080 $1,296 $1,498 $1,671 $1,844
Fair Market Rents in Seattle

Fair Market Rents, often abbreviated as FMR, can be used to better understand the average housing costs of an area. Notably, Fair Market Rents are used to establish the payment standards for the Housing Choice Voucher Program, maximum rents in HOME financed rental projects and initial rents for Section 8 project based assistance.

2017 Fair Market Rents
Studio One BR Two BR Three BR Four BR
$1,093 $1,249 $1,544 $2,240 $2,654