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Photo by Gwen Davis

SHA: Poor people will be more self-sufficient if they are kicked out of low-income housing

City Council stunned by SHA's proposal to raise rents

By Gwen Davis

Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) plans to raise rent rates on low-income residents, potentially forcing people to move out. On Wed. morning, the Seattle City Council heard SHA make its case.

SHA is in charge of West Seattle's High Point, which provides housing options for people of all income levels.

This meeting was heated. Here is the story:

--> SHA's new proposal would not affect the elderly or disabled, SHA officials said, only a population of residents aged 24-61 who are able to work. SHA serves 13,000 individuals, and 65 percent of them are able to work, they stated. SHA is in a space crunch: this year only 2,000 spots were available for 24,000 applications.

The new proposal, Stepping Forward, would dramatically raise rates. People who are currently making around $11 an hour would have to make $19 an hour by the end of a four-to-six-year implementation process or they'd get kicked out. SHA plans to provide job training so residents can get higher-paying jobs.

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