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For more information contact:
Rhonda Rosenberg, Director of Communications
King County Housing Authority
(206) 574-1185

King County Housing Authority earns high marks from HUD

June 29, 2015 — Seattle

The King County Housing Authority (KCHA) has received a score of 97.5 out of a possible 100 points in an evaluation of the physical condition of its public housing portfolio by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  The rigorous evaluation is conducted by third-party inspectors and is intended to ensure that federally assisted families live in well-maintained, safe housing.  KCHA’s score places its portfolio among the best maintained public housing in the country. The average individual property Real Estate Assessment Center score nationally in 2014 was 82.6 points.

With the recent score, KCHA maintains its overall “high performer” designation, HUD’s top performance rating for housing authorities.  HUD has named KCHA a high-performing agency every year since it began evaluating public housing authorities in 1992.


The high quality of repairs and maintenance of KCHA’s public housing was achieved despite the chronic underfunding of public housing over the past decade.  Most recently, between 2012 and 2014, KCHA received $2.96 million less in federal funding than HUD calculated was necessary to responsibly operate this housing. Additional budget cuts recently approved by the U.S. House of Representatives for next year will pose additional challenges for assuring the safety of the approximately 4,200 people who depend on public housing for a home in King County.  Approximately, 28 percent of these residents are elderly, 29 percent are disabled and 28 percent are children.

“Budget and economic realities in recent years have forced federal, state and local agencies to find ways to do more with less,” said HUD Northwest Regional Administrator Bill Block. “Thanks to the creativity of the King County Housing Authority’s staff as well as the regulatory flexibility we have provided it under the Moving to Work (MTW) program, the Authority has been able to maintain an outstanding record of preserving and improving the quality of its physical assets despite the considerable financial pressures. We congratulate them on a job well and creatively done.”

MTW is a program that allows a handful of high-performing public housing authorities to test new approaches, outside of rigid HUD rules, for operating its programs and assisting low-income families. With the administrative and regulatory flexibility afforded by MTW, KCHA has achieved operational efficiencies and cost reductions that have allowed it to make significant capital improvements to its public housing inventory. Without this flexibility much of KCHA’s portfolio would have been unable to meet basic quality standards. 

“We are committed to providing the best possible housing for the residents and communities we serve.  This score reflects the hard work of the housing authority staff and the close partnership between residents and KCHA,” said Doug Barnes, KCHA board chair. “We are especially proud that we have been able to sustain this level of excellence in the face of ongoing federal funding cutbacks. Were it not for our status as a Moving to Work agency, this feat would have been very difficult to accomplish.”

The housing authority owns and operates about 2,125 public housing units in King County. It owns or manages an additional 6,800 units of affordable housing and provides more than 11,600 households with rental assistance to enable them to rent housing from private landlords.
 
The scores of public housing inspected in the 2014-2015 inspection cycle by city are shown below.

City Property Units Score
Auburn Burndale Homes 50 99
  Firwood Circle 50 99
  Plaza Seventeen
70 98
  Wayland Arms/Gustaves Manor 102 99
Bellevue College Place/Eastside Terrace
101 99
Boulevard Park Boulevard Manor 70 99
Burien Yardley Arms/Munro Manor 127 95
Federal Way Southridge House 80 100
Kent Cascade Apartments 108 99

Mardi Gras 61 99

Valli Kee 115 99
Kirkland
Casa Juanita 80 95

Kirkland Place 9 99
Olympia Casa Madrona 70 100
Redmond Forest Glen 40 96
Shoreline Ballinger Homes/Pepper Tree 136 94

Briarwood/Lake House 140 90

Northridge II 140 97

Paramount House 70 98
Tukwila Riverton Terrace/Brittany Park/Pacific Court 105 92
White Center Nia Apartments 40 99

Eastbridge (at Greenbridge) 13 97

Salmon Creek (at Greenbridge) 50 99

Seola Crossing (at Greenbridge) 77 99

Average score: 97.5

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