Affordable Housing For All Workers
Puget Sound faces an extraordinary affordable housing crisis.
Land prices have soared over the last decade. Thousands of currently affordable housing units are being lost every year to condo conversions and new development. Record low vacancy rates are leading to soaring rents throughout the region.
Meanwhile, the number of low-wage jobs in the region continues to swell. Family income for low-wage workers is not keeping pace with housing costs. Blue-collar working families are being pushed out of Seattle into the suburbs, often further from their jobs. Dramatic increases in gas and food only make the crisis worse.
Sage works to ensure everyone has safe, decent housing through two strategies: 1) encourage the private sector to pay living wages and 2) increase the supply of affordable housing. For Sage’s activities on improving job quality, see our Good Jobs & Workers’ Rights program.
Sage’s campaigns for preserving and increasing affordable housing specifically focus on meeting the needs of workers in low-wage industries, such as hospitality, building services, retail and the construction laborers. Families with workers in these industries typically earn between $30,000 and $50,000 per year – with two wage earners. At less than half of the area’s median income, these families are faced with few housing choices. At best, they are forced to commute to far-reaching suburbs, and at worst, homelessness is a real threat.