In a city experiencing rapid growth and facing rising rents, there's a new effort to help those struggling to pay for their housing.
Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan's first action after being sworn in was to sign an executive order to "quickly develop and implement strategies, including rental assistance, to assist rent-burdened lower-income households pay for their housing."
Mayor Durkan signed the executive order at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. The building in West Seattle houses low-income artists, giving them a place to live and work at an affordable price.
Sculptor Paul Goldstein lives there. He says he was close to moving out of Seattle because it was getting so expensive.
"Considering what is going on here in Seattle, this is a godsend because basically people are being forced out," said Goldstein.
He says the affordable, 900-square-foot apartment has made a difference for him. He hopes new leadership will make a difference for others scraping to get by in Seattle.
"The key issue facing us right now is affordability, and I have seen too many people are being pushed out. We want to give relief to people as quickly as we can, so my first order was to stay let's get started now," said Mayor Durkan.
According to the executive order, "In the first weeks in December, all families on Seattle Housing Authority waiting list without preferential status will be contacted to expedite enrollment in utility discount programs and other public benefits. A pilot Seattle Rental Housing Assistance Program will be developed by January - this program will aim to provide a combination of vouchers and/or subsidies for renters on the SHA to provide relief for families with income between 30% and 50% of the area median income (AMI). In addition, the Office of Housing (OH) and SHA will work to expedite placement into housing and an interdepartmental effort will work to streamline City benefits."