The King County Housing Authority provides rental housing and rental assistance to more than 19,000 households. We serve low-income people in 33 cities—not including Seattle and Renton—as well as in unincorporated areas of King County. The county, named after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., is home to more than 1.8 million residents and covers more than 2,000 square miles. KCHA's service area includes 1.2 million of the county's residents and the majority of its low-income households.
KCHA owns and manages 4,269 units of federally funded housing for families, the elderly, and people with disabilities. An additional 6,000 units of low- and moderate-income housing are financed through tax credits or tax-exempt bonds. Federally funded Section 8 Vouchers help more than 10,000 households rent affordable housing on the private market.
Through partnerships with communities and nonprofits, KCHA's housing and supportive services combine to reach 55,000 people who earn less than the county median income. The combination of housing and services put self-sufficiency within most families' reach, usually within six years.
Learn more about KCHA's housing programs.
The King County Housing Authority is an independent municipal corporation. It was created by the State of Washington in 1939 to provide affordable housing and related services.
KCHA receives no operating funds from the State of Washington, King County, or the region's cities. It covers operating costs by rents charged to tenants and federal funding. Our annual consolidated budget is about $301 million. It has roughly 400 full-time employees at administrative offices in Tukwila and field offices throughout the county.
KCHA is governed by a five-member volunteer Board of Commissioners. The King County Executive appoints the commissioners, who are then approved by the Metropolitan King County Council.
KCHA owns and manages one public housing complex outside of King County in Olympia. It also administers 80 units of public housing under contract to the Sedro-Woolley Housing Authority.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has named KCHA a high-performing agency every year since it began evaluating public housing authorities in 1992. HUD now rates agency performance in four areas: financial condition, resident services, management operations, and the physical condition of housing.
HUD named King County Housing Authority a Moving to Work (MTW) agency in 2003. MTW gives KCHA waivers from certain HUD program regulations. This flexibility allows us to shape our federally funded programs in ways that respond to local conditions, streamline operations, and better support tenants' economic self-sufficiency. KCHA is one of 39 housing authorities nationwide that participates in the MTW program.
Greenbridge and Seola Gardens are taking the place of the former Park Lake Homes communities in White Center. Both neighborhoods feature new roads, utilities, parks, trails, and playgrounds. They mix new, energy-efficient low-income rental units with market-rate for-sale housing.
When finished, Greenbridge will be home to about 1,000 families. It will support residents with schools, a library, education services, and a community center. Nearly 300 families will live half a mile away at Seola Gardens, which offers its own community center, pea patches, exercise stations, and public art installations. More than $250 million in public and private funding will make both projects possible.
In 2010, KCHA completed its $55 million revitalization of the Springwood Apartments in Kent's East Hill. Reborn as Birch Creek, the project replaced the old, densely-packed, box-like buildings with new, bright, energy-efficient apartment homes. The area also features a central park, outdoor recreation spaces, and two community centers.
Learn more about KCHA's development projects.
The King County Housing Authority actively acquires properties and builds new housing. Projects are primarily funded by combining federal, state, and local money with tax-exempt bonds, Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, or both. Since 1990, KCHA has issued more than $350 million in housing bonds. 20 projects also used tax credits, with KCHA serving as the partnership's sole general partner.
This program helps nonprofit and for-profit developers buy or build multi-family rental housing in King County. The below-market rate financing offered by KCHA can often significantly improve the feasibility of affordable housing projects.
Housing Repair and Weatherization
KCHA provides $5 million in low-income home repair and weatherization services each year. Funding comes from the federal government, utility companies, the State of Washington, King County, and the City of Bellevue. About 900 privately owned single-family, multi-family, and mobile homes are upgraded each year.
KCHA understands that residents need more than safe, affordable housing to gain self-sufficiency. In partnership with local communities and nonprofits, we offer many types of support services. These include Head Start classes for preschoolers, job counseling for adults, and referrals for seniors and people with disabilities. An AmeriCorps team provides educational services and promotes civic and environmental engagement. KCHA spends more than $5 million each year on resident programs.