Frequently Asked Questions about LIHI Housing

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Am I eligible for housing at LIHI?

         You (and your family, if applicable) must qualify based on household income (see information on “Area Median Income” for more details).

         Recent evictions (within the last 3-5 years) may or may not affect your eligibility—depending on the cause. Prior evictions from other LIHI properties will disqualify you.

         Each property will evaluate any criminal history you have. LIHI will not except applications from sex offenders or from any applicant with a history of arson. Except for homeless projects, LIHI will not accept applicants with a felony conviction within the last five years.

How can I apply for housing at LIHI?

Current vacancies are posted on our website weekly, on Tuesdays. Please check income and other restrictions on each unit to make sure you qualify prior to applying.

If you are interested in units at more than one apartment building/property you will have to submit separate applications to each.

Once you have identified an apartment you qualify for and are interested in, print out the application, fill it out, and mail, fax, or hand deliver it to the apartment manager at the address listed for that unit.  WE WILL NOT ACCEPT ANY APPLICATIONS AT THE MAIN OFFICE. 

If you have a Priority Placement letter from LIHI (these were sent to persons on our old waiting list when we terminated it), please include a COPY of it with your application:  do NOT send the original—we will not save it and you will lose your priority placement. Applications are processed on a first come, first served basis.

If your application is approved, the apartment manager will contact you and explain the next steps you will need to take.  You will need to respond quickly.  If you do not, we will contact the next applicant in line.  We will take the first qualified tenant with a deposit to hold the unit.

Once the unit you have applied for is filled, all applications for that unit will be destroyed.  Neither the apartment manager nor LIHI will keep any applications on file.  You must submit a new application for each new vacancy you are interested in.

Is any of LIHI’s housing available now?

All immediate openings are posted weekly on our website.

Additionally, some of our buildings located outside of Seattle maintain waitlists and may be accepting applications for future vacancies. Please see our website for buildings with open waitlists.

Where am I on the waiting list?

As of June 2009 we dissolved our centralized waiting list and moved to the current system for filling units on a first come/first served basis. All active applicants on our waiting list were mailed a letter explaining the change and noting their original application date with us. If a copy of this letter is included with a unit application, we will do our best to give priority to the applicant who has been waiting the longest. We will not be maintaining a central waitlist any longer. Therefore, all applications for a given unit will be destroyed after that unit is filled. You will need to submit a new application for each new vacancy you are interested in.

How long is the wait for housing?

Available units are posted weekly on our website and will be filled on a first come/first served basis. We will take the first qualified tenant with a deposit to hold the unit.

How much will my rent be?

Rent will vary at each LIHI building. For example, rent for a studio varies from $100 to $500 depending on your situation and the building’s unit mix (see information on “Area Median Income” for more details). LIHI will never move a household into a unit if the rent is more than 50% of their monthly income. Rents at some properties are subsidized, meaning that your rent would be 30% of your monthly adjusted gross income. Funding sources require LIHI to verify income limits--this is why applicants must provide proof of their income.

What does “AMI” mean?

AMI stands for Area Median Income. The area median income is used to determine the eligibility of applicants for both federally and locally funded programs. It sets the maximum limit that a household can earn to be eligible for our programs, essentially defining who we can serve given the particular funding source. Income limits are calculated for specific geographic areas. They are based on HUD estimates of median family income with adjustments for family size. For example, one hundred percent of the 2009 area median income for a four-person household in Seattle is $84,300, which means that 50% of the population earned more than $84,300 and 50% of the population earned less.

What size unit will I get?

Generally speaking, this is the formula we use for maximum number of occupants:

# of bedrooms X 2 people + 1 person = maximum number of applicants

So, in the case of a 2-bedroom unit, we would consider housing a maximum of 5 people. (2 bedrooms X 2 people + 1 person.) There are some exceptions to this rule.

Except in specific pre-defined situations, a single person will only qualify for a studio or 1-bedroom apartment.

What is a SRO unit?

SRO means a Single Room Occupancy unit. SRO units are generally the best option for the lowest income people that we serve. These are private single rooms (150 square feet or larger) equipped with a mini-refrigerator, a sink, and a microwave or stovetop. Bathrooms and full kitchen facilities are shared with other residents.

Can students live in your housing?

If all members of your household are full time students, you may not qualify for housing. Please ask us for more information if your household fits this description.

If I move into a LIHI unit but want to move to another building, do I need to reapply?

Yes. If you are interested in moving to another LIHI building or unit, you will need to submit a new application when an opening is announced.

What is LIHI's smoking policy?

Gosset Place, McDermott Place, The Bart Harvey, and Denny Park are all non-smoking properties. Other properties allow smoking, but check with the on-site manager about allowable smoking locations outside of your unit.