Growth pressures, rising costs fueling displacement in the region

Interactive map shows risk of displacement by census tract

PSRC has developed an interactive report that shows housing displacement risk for neighborhoods around the region.

People experience displacement when housing or neighborhood conditions force them to move. Skyrocketing housing costs and a growing population have contributed to displacement in the central Puget Sound region over the last decade.

Cost of housing was by far the top reason for displacement, according to findings from PSRC’s 2019 household travel survey. Other reasons for displacement are physical, when living conditions deteriorate or buildings are taken off the market for renovation or demolition.

Over 400,000 people in the central Puget Sound region live in areas with a higher risk of displacement. These neighborhoods are mainly in the urbanized areas of the region in south King County, Tacoma, and along the Interstate 5 corridor in Snohomish County.

But not everyone who lives in these areas is equally at risk of being displaced.

People of color especially are hit hard by rising costs because they have less wealth overall due to discriminatory policies and actions related to housing, employment, education, and health care access. That means even slight increases in housing costs are difficult to afford. People of color are also more likely to be renters, which makes them more vulnerable to rising housing prices. 

In contrast, large businesses, higher income households and homeowners are at less risk of being displaced because they can more easily absorb price fluctuations and may benefit from increased property values.

Click on the right hand arrow icon to open the report in a new tab, full screen.

The Displacement Risk report walks users through the mapping tool and provides background on displacement in the region.

The mapping tool supported PSRC’s development of VISION 2050 and helped to increase understanding of potential environmental and social impacts from the Regional Growth Strategy. 

PSRC continues to use this research to inform new regional resources for local governments and community partners for preventing future displacement as the region grows. Understanding displacement risk will help inform planning guidance for transit station areas and centers to achieve more equitable outcomes.