Seattle is in an unprecedented period of change and growth. Our economy is prospering and attracting new people from across the country for jobs and opportunity, but for many, this is a difficult time. The City needs to address the crisis of affordability in order to be a city that represents opportunity for all.
In November 2017, Mayor Jenny Durkan signed Executive Order 2017-12 and directed City departments to address the increased cost of living in Seattle through, among other actions, the creation of a common affordability portal and exploration of opportunities to streamline and coordinate activities across benefit programs.
Our team co-created a plan with residents, City employees, and community-based organization staff and put forth recommendations in response to the Executive Order and to this key question:
How might the City of Seattle better connect low-income households and residents to programs that would lower their cost of living?
Last August, Mayor Durkan launched The Innovation Advisory Council (IAC) to bring together some of our region’s most innovative companies to share insights and expertise with the City.
IAC members Expedia Group, Tableau, and F5 signed on to help us implement our recommendations. Over the past few months, we’ve partnered with Expedia to develop an online information and screening tool to connect individuals and families to City of Seattle benefit programs and services that can lower their cost of living.
The Affordability Portal will support both benefit seekers and the professional and informal navigators such as case workers and family members who support them.
We’re looking forward to sharing more with you over the coming months. For updates, go to the project page on the IAC website.