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Old November 19th, 2014, 10:43 PM   #821
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I shared one-bedrooms for years. They were my leases and I paid maybe 55% to have the bedroom. It's not ideal but it's a decent option if you're young and want a great location.

(Better yet, live in a city that makes micros easier, i.e. actually cares about low-income people vs. saying they do.)
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Old November 19th, 2014, 10:56 PM   #822
Matt the Engineer
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Originally Posted by Mpatte View Post
That was said with a note of incredulity, considering how relatively high a take home i think that i have. I am saying that Seattle has an amazingly high average income.

It depends on what you're comparing it to. Large dense cities are productivity machines, and generally have much higher average incomes than smaller cities and towns.

That said, even among large cities we do pretty well. Here's data from 2011:

You also have to factor in the price of housing. If most of your workers can't afford to live in the city they work in, your median income looks nice and high. But that's the median income of the people that can afford to live there.
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Old November 20th, 2014, 04:39 AM   #823
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For years I lived in "non-profit housing". This basically meant they were run by non-profit organizations who qualified for tax exempt, Washington state backed bonds which they then used to construct, purchase, or rehab rental apartments. There were occasionally wait lists for some buildings, but that was based more on location and popularity of a particular property, not because of a shortage of units (like Seattle Housing Authority).

For one person, your gross income for the year needed to be in the mid- to low-thirties. Adding a second person not related was usually not allowed. You had to re-certify your income every year, but you weren't pushed out if you began to make more than the qualification maximum. The theory was you would move if/when you could afford to.

There were probably 30-40 buildings to choose from in downtown Seattle (PSQ to QA, waterfront to Cap Hill). I lived in a 10-story 1914 brick and terra cotta building with views of Freeway Park (and the sounds of Freeway freeway!). Decent size studio with separate kitchen and bath, and a huge walk-in closet that once contained a Murphy bed. My max rent (3 years ago) was $695.

Although there were some retirees in the building, it was mostly what I would call "workforce housing". (Students weren't allowed.) I was a waiter when I first moved in, then an event space sales rep, then a tour guide. My neighbors worked as barbers, insurance admin people, cooks, and hotel clerks. None of us had cars...there was only 6 parking spaces for about 150 units.
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