Editor's note: The attached video originally aired in June 2019 when a consultant released its report on ARCH.
A Regional Coalition for Housing (ARCH) affordable housing program is hiring new employees as it tries to curb some of the program abuses uncovered in a consultant’s report in June.
ARCH has posted job listings for a “housing program administrator” and an “associate planner” on the City of Bellevue’s website.
Oakland-based Street Level Advisors found 35 owners who bought homes through the publicly-backed program that were likely renting out their units, instead of living in them, as required by ARCH.
The consultant said the Eastside’s largest affordable housing program – which operates on behalf of 15 cities including Bellevue, Kirkland and Redmond – was short-staffed and was unable to monitor and enforce compliance with program rules.
The consultant was hired after a series of KING 5 investigations showed that ARCH was tipped about several homeowners in Bellevue and Issaquah that were violating the residency requirement, but ARCH did not act.
“Of our recommendations, by far the most important is expanding staff,” consultant Rick Jacobus wrote.
Jacobus said ARCH’s five full-time employees cannot keep watch over the 700 homes and thousands of rental units enrolled in the program.
ARCH Executive Director Lindsay Masters says member cities are working to “fast-track” other recommendations from the consultant that will “strengthen short-term and long-term enforcement” of program rules.