Media Contact: James Canning
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PROPOSITION 1 DELIVERS AFFORDABLE HOUSING SOLUTIONS, AND
IMPROVES ACCESS FOR FAMILIES, SENIORS, & DISABLED RESIDENTS
80% of housing units constructed will be dedicated to affordable housing
$20 million contribution to loan fund for development of affordable housing
SEATTLE—Voter approval of Sound Transit Proposition 1 will assist with the creation of more affordable housing options across the Puget Sound. Affordable housing and social justice advocates announced their support for the light rail expansion measure during a press conference this morning in the Beacon Hill neighborhood at an El Centro de la Raza property.
The affordable housing components of Sound Transit Proposition 1 include:
• 80% of surplus property that is suitable for housing must be offered to qualified affordable housing entities; and 80% of the units in those developments would have to offered low income people.
• $20 million contribution to a revolving loan fund to support development of affordable housing opportunities related to equitable transit-oriented development within the boundaries of the Sound Transit District. ($4 million annually for five consecutive years beginning within three years of voter approval of the ST3 plan; year of expenditure dollars.)
• $12 million to support inclusive and collaborative planning for transit oriented development during transit planning and development stages.
• Sound Transit will work with cities to seek input through public engagement that informs, involves, and empowers people and communities by inviting them to have an active role in shaping the development of surplus property in the community.
Sound Transit’s plan to expand light rail, express bus, and commuter rail services with Proposition 1 contains several goals that align with the Puget Sound Regional Council’s (PSRC) VISION 2040 plan, including: “Preserve, improve and expand housing stock to provide a range of affordable, healthy and safe housing choices.”
Affordable Housing and Social Justice Endorsers of Proposition 1 include: Housing Development Consortium of Seattle/King County, El Centro de la Raza, Enterprise Community Partners, Fair Housing Center of Washington, Low Income Housing Institute, Imagine Housing, Mercy Housing, Puget Sound Sage, OneAmerica Votes, Got Green, and Rainbow Center.
Participants cited Proposition 1’s policies on affordable housing, commitment to improving access for limited-income residents, seniors and the disabled as some of reasons for their endorsement.
“Access to reliable transportation is the single biggest barrier preventing people from moving up the economic ladder,” said Joe McDermott, Chair, King County Council and Sound Transit Board member. “It is critical that we pass Proposition 1 to ensure we are connecting people to school, work, home, health care, healthy food, and important community services.”
“Across King County, the median rent is now more than $1700 for a 1 bedroom apartment, and currently 127,000 households are paying more than half their income for housing costs, placing many just one crisis away from homelessness,” said Kelly Rider, Policy Director for the Housing Development Consortium Seattle-King County. “We are especially pleased that this plan promotes the development of affordable housing at current and future station areas, ensuring the low-income households who most rely on transit can afford to live near transit.”
Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien said, “Our booming economy coupled with our rising population is making congestion on our roads worse and driving up housing prices. Proposition 1 provides solutions to address both issues by helping to increase transit capacity and build equitable neighborhoods around light rail and transit stations.”
“Proposition 1 is a progressive, equitable ballot measure that supports accessibility for all,” said Ubax Gardheere, Puget Sound Sage Program Director. “The availability of affordable housing in our region will become greater and people’s access to critical community facility and job centers will improve with voter approval of this ballot measure. Our community needs the benefits Proposition 1 delivers.”
Proposition 1 completes a reliable light rail system of 116 miles and over 80 stations, making it easier for people to travel between King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties. This measure will create a full-scale transit network connecting 39 cities by adding new bus rapid transit on I-405 and SR-522, along with expanded Sounder commuter rail, in addition to 62 miles of new light rail service.
Visit www.MassTransitNow.com for more information on Proposition 1.
The statistics below are found in Appendix D at SoundTransit3.org.
Using current demographic data (2014) from the American Community Survey conducted by the United States Census and recent studies from Pierce, Snohomish and King counties, the following illustrate populations that could have improved mobility and access after completion of Sound Transit Proposition 1 projects.
People of color: Over 38 percent of the population within a mile of Sound Transit stations and stops, including ST3 stations and stops, are people of color.
Low-income residents: The proportion of the low-income population within one-mile of future Sound Transit service, including ST3 stations and stops, is 14.3 percent. Within the Sound Transit District, a higher percentage of those at the poverty level use public transportation compared to commuters overall.
Seniors: People 60 years and older made up 17 percent of the population of King, Snohomish and Pierce counties in 2014 and have been a growing portion of the population over time. This trend is expected to continue as the general population ages and life expectancy increases. By 2020, all three counties anticipate that over 20 percent of their total population will be 60 or older.
Subsidized housing residents: When the Sound Transit 3 system expansion is complete, Sound Transit will serve over 52,000 units of subsidized housing within one mile of all stations and stops.
Renters: Renters, who tend to use transit more frequently than homeowners, will have greater mobility options as a result of ST3. Renters make up 53 percent of the population within one mile of future Sound Transit service, including ST3 stations and stops.
Zero-vehicle households: Today, nearly 9 percent of households in the Sound Transit District do not have access to a car.