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Quiet Crisis: Age Wave Maxes Out Affordable Housing – King County, Seattle

Overview

The need for affordable housing in King County, Seattle greatly surpasses the supply of affordable housing units available. This gap will only become larger as the older adult population continues to increase in King County. By 2025, older adults will account for 23 percent of the entire population in King County. An additional 936 subsidized units will need to be developed every year until 2025 to maintain the current ratio of affordable housing units to poor seniors. This report was produced as a collaboration effort between the City of Seattle Office of Housing, King County Housing Authority, and the King County Housing and Community Development agency, among others, to assess the supportive housing needs of King County’s steadily increasing senior population.

Key Points

The framework of this report is structured by four main questions: 1) How do demographic trends portend in terms of the need for affordable senior housing?; 2) How will tomorrow’s seniors differ from today’s seniors in terms of their housing needs?; 3) What types of senior housing and supportive services will be needed in the years ahead?; and 4) What actions can your community take to address the needs that are emerging? The number of King County seniors living in poverty will more than double by 2025. The report offers strategies and recommendations to overcome the obstacles faced by poor seniors now and in the future related to housing and supportive service needs.

Recommendations made in the report include:

  1. Develop policies to assist older adults with staying in their homes as they age, like increasing the accessibility of in-home health and nutrition services.
  2. Create a wider range of housing options for low-income seniors by working with community-based providers.
  3. Develop senior-friendly neighborhoods by promoting walkability and transit-oriented development to make getting around easier and more accessible for older adults.

How to Use

Planners and local officials can use this report to gain an understanding of the issues King County’s seniors are facing now and will continue to face in the future. The report provides sound strategies for communities looking to make housing more affordable and available for older adults. Under each main strategy, several recommendations are provided to offer ideas for planners, local government officials, and policymakers to improve housing options and supportive services for low-income seniors.

View full report: Quiet Crisis: Age Wave Maxes Out Affordable Housing – King County, Seattle (PDF – 275 KB)

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