What is the KCHA?
The KCHA or King County Housing Authority is a Washington state-run agency that plays a key role in providing affordable housing options for residents of King County. Since it was created in 1939, KCHA, through its partnerships with nonprofit organizations and local communities, provides affordable housing options and support services (educational resources, social services and job training) to approximately 50,000 residents who earn below the state’s median income.
KCHA provides the aforementioned resources to approximately 20,000 households in 23 suburban towns and cities. King County, with a population of approximately 2 million people, is currently the 14th most populous county in the United States.
Since the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development began recording statistics on housing authorities in 1992, King County has been regarded as one of the nation’s “highest performers.” KCHA has earned a perfect score on the Housing and Urban Development’s Management Assessment scale for four consecutive years. The government developed the Housing Assessment System to evaluate housing authorities, gauging their performance in four fundamental areas: resident services, financial condition, physical condition of the homes and management operations.
KCHA: Recent Construction Efforts
KCHA provides new housing units through detailed planning and subsequent construction efforts. In July of 2011, KCHA opened the doors to 25 new rental units at Seola Gardens. This community is equipped with an abundance of educational and recreational opportunities for the region’s children. North of this complex is the Greenbridge region, which is a newly constructed 900 rental lot and for-sale homes for a variety of household incomes. This community will feature schools, trails, parks, libraries and a community center. Moreover, KCHA spent over $55 million refurbishing the Birch Creek Apartments in East Kent. KCHA tore down the previous run-down apartment complex to build a new vibrant community with a central park and dozens of energy-efficient apartment homes with raised patios and pitched roofs.
KCHA actively owns and manages approximately 3,500 units of federally subsidized housing for families, people living with disabilities, the elderly and approximately 4,500 units of workforce dwellings, financed primarily through tax-exempt bonds and tax credits. An additional 9,800 units were developed through the Section 9 program, which subsidizes families to rent dwellings within the private sector.
KCHA, in partnership with an assortment of local service agencies, provides an additional 130 units for transitional families and individuals with special needs. KCHA will provide repair and weatherization services to low-income families, owners of mobile homes and landlords who rent to income-eligible persons living in the county. KCHA will also provide tax-exempt financing to affordable and efficient housing developers in the region.