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Seattle Housing launches planning effort for 2010–2015

Progress measured on current plan

SEATTLE—November 19, 2009—As 2009 draws to a close, the Seattle Housing Authority is assessing results from its 2005-2010 Strategic Plan and launching efforts to develop a new plan for the next five years.

The planning process will extend into 2010, involving stakeholders and low-income residents from across the city. The Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioners will work closely with the staff to set direction and priorities for the new plan.

As the planning process unfolds, Strategic Planning Director Virginia Felton anticipates tapping into the experience and knowledge of housing experts and ordinary citizens alike to advise the Housing Authority. “The challenge of planning for the next five years gives us a chance to build on current success while we involve a range of people with good ideas and insights,” Felton said.

The first step in the process has been looking back on the last five years to determine how well the agency has done in reaching the goals set in 2005. The theme of the plan adopted at that time was “Remaining committed in times of change.”

According to Executive Director Tom Tierney, the Housing Authority has succeeded in achieving some significant milestones. “I believe it is especially significant that we have been able to increase the number of extremely low-income households we serve from 12,166 in 2005 to 13, 177 in 2010, an increase of 8.3 percent,” noted Tierney in a recent report to the board of Commissioners.

He also noted improvements in the Housing Choice Voucher program: “We have increased the number of Housing Choice Vouchers by 557 to 9,177.

Another area where the agency succeeded in making significant progress toward its stated goals was in fostering self-sufficiency for low-income residents. The Job Connection (Seattle Housing Authority’s in-house career development center) succeeded in placing 855 low-income workers into jobs in the past five years.

During this time period Seattle Housing also developed standards for its “Section 3” program that requires contractors to hire residents of Seattle Housing communities for construction and other jobs. This resulted in 112 “Section 3” hires since 2006.

Activities to develop a new plan will include interviews with community leaders, both an online and written survey and community workshops with tenants of Seattle Housing Authority properties. Community workshops will take place in January or February.