Some important things to note:
The city has set the limit for ELI ( Extremely Low Income ) housing as a percentage of the housing stock at 20%. Block Group 1.3 ( aka 100.3 ) is at 30%. That is in the heart of our urban village. There are only two other Block Groups outside of the downtown exemption area that are higher than us, and both are in the High Point neighborhood. We are 8th highest out of ~135 Census Block Groups in the city. This is higher than areas of Belltown and Pioneer Square.
Block Group 100.5 is the business core. ALL the rental housing in that BG ( and almost all in the Lake City Hub Urban Village ) is renting at under 80% of Area Median Income affordable rent price, making all of it low income housing. ( You can check this for yourself by comparing LC rents ( here, here, and here ) to the Office of Housing's affordability chart. ) The next Block Group to the west is 200.2 - where the city is proposing 50 ELI units at the Fire Station 39 site. This is in the Civic Core of our urban village.
The next map was put together by a DPC / LCNA member with data provided from the Seattle Housing Authority. They are the department tasked with issuing federal Section 8 housing vouchers to low income households. This is another form of subsidized housing that is in addition to the ones shown on the previous maps / data sets. The Section 8 data was only provided by zip code and Census Tract. The 98125 zip code ( which is mostly Lake City ) has 41% of all the vouchers north of the ship canal. The disparity between the quantity in census tracts 1, 2, and 7 ( the three census tracts overlapping the LC urban village ) and the tracts to the south is stark.
This next set of maps is from data provided by the American Community Survey at the US Census Bureau website regarding poverty rates. The demographic show is Households / Families with children under 18. The survey then breaks that group into "married" and "single female". The map has been colored in relationship to the county average below poverty level for that demographic. It is important to note the quantity ( as shown by the red bubbles ) as well as the percentage.
The last map shows elementary school service areas with colors indicating percentage of students receiving free or reduced price meals. This is another indicator of the poverty in an area. Also shown are the Great Schools rating - 10 being the highest. Data was pulled from the OSPI report card website.
So there is the data. How do we interpret it?
One observation is that we show similar numbers to areas in the south that have been redeveloped recently using over $135 million in HUD HOPE VI funding. Those projects are New Holly, Rainier Vista, High Point, and Westwood. The Yesler Terrace rebuild will receive funding from this source as well. The big difference is that Lake City does not have the large contiguous areas of public housing that these properties do. A lot of our low income housing is privately owned and not subsidized.
Below is information pulled from SHA's HOPE VI Program website.
HOPE VI goals include:
- Lessen isolation and reduce the concentration of very low-income families by building mixed-income communities.
- Revitalize the sites of severely distressed public housing and, as a result, improve the surrounding neighborhood.
- Provide coordinated, comprehensive community and supportive services that help residents achieve self-sufficiency, attain educational excellence, and secure a desirable quality of life.
HOPE VI design principles include:
- Diversity—A broad range of housing types and prices will bring people of diverse ages, races and incomes into daily interaction, strengthening the personal and civic bonds essential to an authentic community.
- Safety and civic engagement—The relationship of buildings and streets should enable neighbors to create a safe neighborhood by providing "eyes on the street" and should encourage interaction and community identity.
- Neighborhoods—Neighborhoods should be compact, with shops, schools, parks and other activities of daily life available within walking distance.
- Local architectural character—The image and character of new development should respond to the best architectural traditions in the area.
So the question is this: How can the City justify developing the FS39 property as proposed in light of these data, goals, and design principles?