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To help ease Seattle’s affordability crisis, City Hall launches site for civic deals, discounts

How bad has Seattle’s affordability crisis become? The city has launched a new seattle.gov/affordable site that is tantamount to a Seattle City Hall discount coupon service.

Mayor Jenny Durkan is not calling it Groupon — but for living in Seattle. “One of our most important jobs is to make navigating your government a bit easier,” the mayor said. “Tens of thousands of families are currently eligible for money back in their pockets through the Child Care Assistance Program, Seattle Preschool Program, Utility Discount Program and dozens of other programs and initiatives.”

A quick visit to the site shows a wide selection of some 106 categories in which residents might find a way to save a buck or two living in the city. Its current “Popular Services” rankings include “Discount card for people with disabilities,” “Free ORCA cards for students,” and “King County taxpayer assistance.”

The mayor announced the new site along with a proposal for a new Seattle Rental Housing Assistance Pilot Program which would focus on “preventing households from falling into homelessness while on the waitlist for longer-term assistance.”

Nearly half of the 1,027 households issued a Seattle Housing Authority Housing Choice Voucher in the 2015 lottery experienced homelessness at some point during their time on the waitlist, according to City Hall.

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