A new UW study says it cost more than $75,000 a year for a Seattle family to make ends meet.
The Self Sufficiency Study, written by three UW researchers, used national data and guidelines to come up with the report. It says a family of four, with two adults, a school-aged child, and preschooler, needs the money just for baseline needs. That includes housing, food, child care, and transportation. The latter is only bus and public transit costs.
"Housing and child care costs, absolutely, those are the things that have been driving the shift in every county that we've looked at where the gap has increased," said Lisa Mikesell, who was part of the study.
She noted that it was more expensive on the Eastside, where basic services cost $94,000 a year in places like Bellevue, Redmond and Mercer Island.
Mikesell says the gap has grown substantially between Seattle and other regions of the state since 2006. The research noted the cost of living had gone up 62% since 2006.
Zach Birt, who recently moved to Seattle from Kansas City, says the housing cost here is roughly 50% higher. The 24-year-old food service worker, who lives with his girlfriend, says he eats at work to try and cut down on food costs. But does he have an answer for how to reduce the cost of living in Seattle?
"I don't know man," he said. "Maybe we just need to look at more affordable housing overall, but a lot of people aren't comfortable sharing space with people."