Northwest NEWS

November 15, 1999

Local News

How affordable is housing in King County?

   King County's Office of Regional Policy and Planning has released an annual publication on housing affordability and home ownership.

   Entitled "Affordable Housing: An Annual Bulletin Tracking Housing Costs in King County," the publication shows that the home ownership rate in King County is 59% of all households--a rate that is lower than most urban counties in the U.S.

   It also concludes that any household making less than $60,000 will have difficulty buying a first home in King County. An income of nearly $30,000 is needed just to rent the average-priced two bedroom apartment in the County.

   "These numbers show that even a 'starter home' is beyond the means of a median-income family in King County," King County Executive Rons Sims said. "It is very difficult for our teachers and police officers to find housing. Service and retail workers making $10 or $12 an hour cannot afford an average priced rental. Having housing that our residents can afford is essential to keeping our economy strong."

   The bulletin provides an overview of who can afford market-rate housing, both rental and ownership, in King County. Highlights of the annual bulletin include:

Buying a home

Rentals Home ownership   For more information on housing costs in King County, contact Rose Curran at (206) 205-0715. This bulletin is also posted on the King County Executive's website at