Older adults in Snohomish County face ongoing challenges, county survey finds

Photo courtesy Pixabay

A new survey has found that older adults in Snohomish County are still facing a number of challenges, including financial insecurity and housing costs.

The report is based on a survey conducted with residents 55 and older in January-February 2023 and shows the extent of COVID-related challenges still impacting seniors.

Conducted by Snohomish County’s Human Services Department, the survey found that nearly one in five seniors reported living below the federal poverty level. Additionally, more than half of seniors said they were housing cost-burdened, meaning they spend more than 30% of their income on housing and utilities.

The survey findings highlight the need for more support for older adults in Snohomish County, and Human Services Director Mary Jane Brell Vujovic said that the county is committed to addressing these challenges.

“As we better understand where there are continuing challenges for those who had some of the highest negative impacts from COVID-19, we can ensure everything possible is being done to help them fully recover,” she said.

Additional survey results include:

– Nearly 12% seniors reported that their household earns less than $1,200 per month, below the federal poverty limit (FPL) for a one-person household.
– Of the senior households living below the FPL, 30% are BIPOC. This income group primarily consists of seniors living alone, with 76% being women and 23% BIPOC women.
–  58% of senior renters aged 60 or older pay more than 30% of their monthly income on housing and utilities.
– “A stunning” 87% of senior residents who live alone reported that they cannot afford a one-bedroom rental in Snohomish County.
* Most surveyed seniors rely on Social Security as their primary source of income, with an average monthly benefit of $1,827.
* 63% of seniors reported life is returning to pre-COVID conditions with the availability of vaccines and treatments, and of the seniors feeling hopeful, 89% shared they have received COVID-19 vaccines/boosters.

For more information or to access the full survey report,  visit https://bit.ly/2023SnoCoSeniors.

  1. They need to stop accessing property taxes on the elderly and provide food stamps or something. And definitley stop taxing retirement income and social security.

  2. Seniors are going to be the next homeless round.Please stop taxing our social security and pensions.The price of food ,utilities ,rent All the insurances we are in a hole before we start.I personally know many that go without their prescription because of choosing what comes first.

  3. GOOD COMMENTS, LINDA! Taxes and food prices, utilities, water/sewer high increases, are driving seniors out of their homes…so where do they go??? Give Seniors on fixed income a break, please!!!

  4. These stories are truth and heartbreaking. My suggestion is to form a group. Ask your Governor about the possibilities to get some of this help for the Senior Citizens all over our state and county and yes city. When voting be sure and pay attention to who your tax grabbers are here throughout WA. Here in Edmonds for property taxes just for Edmonds it’s not huge but yes, the utility taxes and fees and rate increases are high. Perhaps in Edmonds for your Edmonds property taxes other citizens would help you. It’s a start. Organize like everyone else does and get loud about all of this. I am very sorry about all of this I understand and commend you for wanting to stay in your homes. Going into assisted living too soon will break you in the end leave you on Medicaid in my opinion inferior services. Possibly rent out a room in your owned home?? These situations also apply to Senior renters. Maybe not prop tax but all the rest apply. We pay a lot of State Tax and County Tax so they too need to be approached with your needs. Good luck and Good for you commenting on this issue here in MEN. I believe in many ways ageism is alive and well here in WA state County, Medical facilities and more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Real first and last names — as well as city of residence — are required for all commenters.
This is so we can verify your identity before approving your comment.

By commenting here you agree to abide by our Code of Conduct. Please read our code at the bottom of this page before commenting.