Mayor cites need for household financial security
Mayor Ed Murray said today that, to strengthen the financial security of Seattle households and as part of his broader affordability agenda, he will seek to strengthen the efficiency and effectiveness of the City’s utility rate discount program, with the goal of doubling the 14,000 households now participating by the year 2018.
“I have said all along that, while a living wage is an important piece to addressing the overall affordability crisis we face in this city, it alone is not enough,” said Murray. “Wages are growing too slowly, while costs are growing too quickly. As we address the issue of wages, we also need to address these cost issues – including costs for City-provided services. And as we consider difficult but occasionally necessary service rate increases, we must recommit to minimizing the impacts on those who can least afford them.”
The latest estimate from Public Health-Seattle & King County indicates that as many as 65,000 households could be eligible for the rate discount program. Qualifying households – those earning less than 70 percent of the state median income – are eligible for discounts of 50 to 60 percent on their Seattle electric, drinking water, garbage/recycling, sewer and drainage bills.
Program eligibility depends on the size of the household. For example, a household of four would need to earn less than $58,860 a year to qualify for the program. More information on eligibility can be found here.