Frequently Asked Questions


Do you need an overview of Plymouth’s residents, program outcomes, and community impacts? Wondering about our green building credentials? Our commercial properties? Mental health? Veterans? The Housing First model? Want an easy-to-carry map of our properties?  Looking for solid research data documenting the effectiveness of Plymouth’s work? Want to print some of this out or share it with others? If so, click HERE for print-ready & email-ready fact sheets.


Some FAQs

[spoiler show=”When did Plymouth begin?” hide=”When did Plymouth begin?”]
Plymouth Housing Group was started in 1980 by the committed members of Plymouth Congregational Church. Led by Reverend David Colwell, the church members decided that they needed to do something about the growing issue of homelessness in the community. They created a separate 501 (c) 3 charitable corporation in 1980, Plymouth Housing Group, to own and operate homeless housing.

[spoiler show=”Are you part of Plymouth Congregational Church?” hide=”Are you part of Plymouth Congregational Church?”]
Plymouth was created by the compassionate members of Plymouth Congregational Church in 1980, but today we are a separate non-profit entity with a Community Board of Trustees.[/spoiler]

[spoiler show=”Are you a non-profit?” hide=”Are you a non-profit?”]
Yes, Plymouth Housing Group is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation. Tax I.D. # 91-1122621.

[spoiler show=”How many people live in Plymouth Buildings?” hide=”How many people live in Plymouth Buildings?”]
Today, more than 1,000 people live in 13 Plymouth buildings that we own and operate. Another 600 people live in market-rate housing administered by Plymouth through the Shelter Plus Care Program, which is a King County/Federal Government housing program.

[spoiler show=”Is this permanent or temporary housing?” hide=”Is this permanent or temporary housing?”]
Plymouth provides permanent housing. As long as a resident meets the criteria for residency, s/he can remain living in our apartments.

[spoiler show=”Do you have to be homeless to live at Plymouth?” hide=”Do you have to be homeless to live at Plymouth?”]
Most of our applicants are homeless. To contact our Rental Office, email or click here. [/spoiler]

[spoiler show=”How do people obtain Plymouth housing?” hide=”How do people obtain Plymouth housing?”]
There are two ways for people to receive a subsidized unit at Plymouth. The first is through “set-aside” partnerships with local agencies such as Harborview Mental Health or the Lifelong AIDS Alliance. We reserve approximately 50% of our apartments for their clients and when we have a vacancy, they step forward to fill it with a client. The other 50% of our residents are people who apply to our Rental Office waitlist. If we have a vacancy and a person meets the criteria for housing, he or she will be offered an apartment. Our waiting list for housing is 900 people long and the average wait time is 2 years.  The waitlist will be closed for new applications after November 30, 2012.  The Rental Office will be working with the current waitlist until it is completed, at which time, new applications will be accepted again. Please see our Rental Office Information page for more information on the waitlist closure.

Unsubsidized apartments at Plymouth are available at the David Colwell Apartments and at Haddon Hall.  Please contact the buildings to schedule a tour. Eligibility is based on income and a successful background check and screening.

[spoiler show=”Are most of your residents disabled, or are they able to work?” hide=”Are most of your residents disabled, or are they able to work?”]
The majority of our residents have one or more disabilities. Only about 20% of our residents are able to be employed in some fashion.

[spoiler show=”How are you funded?” hide=”How are you funded?”]
Plymouth’s work is funded through many sources—Federal Government Section 8 housing subsidies, tenant rents, commercial rents, government service grants, United Way grants and donations from corporations, foundations and individuals. You will find our complete financial information on this site.

[spoiler show=”Do residents pay rent?” hide=”Do residents pay rent?”]
Yes, each resident is required to pay 30% of her or his income for rent. For instance, if a resident’s income is $100 per month, s/he pays Plymouth $30. A resident with a monthly income of $300 would pay a monthly rent of $90. [/spoiler]

[spoiler show=”How much does it cost Plymouth to provide a home to one person annually?” hide=”How much does it cost Plymouth to provide a home to one person annually?”]
It costs approximately $14,000 a year to provide a home at Plymouth.

[spoiler show=”Who lives at Plymouth?” hide=”Who lives at Plymouth?”]
Plymouth Housing Group serves homeless adults who are at least 18 years old. Approximately 78% are men and 22% women. About 13% are military service veterans. 80% have incomes at or below the federal poverty level, and 81% have one or more disabilities.

[spoiler show=”Do you allow residents to gather and loiter outside of the buildings?” hide=”Do you allow residents to gather and loiter outside of the buildings?”]
We ask that our residents not loiter outside our buildings and we provide community gathering spaces inside the buildings for meals and socializing. Part of our mission is to be a good neighbor and to keep our properties attractive and well-maintained.

[spoiler show=”Does Plymouth have a Board of Trustees?” hide=”Does Plymouth have a Board of Trustees?”]
As a non-profit, Plymouth is required to have a Board of Trustees. We have a Board composed of community and business leaders. We also have two Tenant Representatives on our Board.

[spoiler show=”How many people work at Plymouth Housing Group?” hide=”How many people work at Plymouth Housing Group?”]
Plymouth Housing Group employs approximately 160 people.

[spoiler show=”Do you accept donations for your residents?” hide=”Do you accept donations for your residents?”]
We gladly accept cash donations as well as donations of household goods and food to support our residents. Visit our How You Can Help section to learn more.

[spoiler show=”Can I volunteer to help?” hide=”Can I volunteer to help?”]
We depend upon our loyal volunteers to help in many areas. Some volunteer groups adopt buildings and provide community meals and recreational activities. Volunteers also help staff our Essential Supply Center for residents, and volunteer to help at our fundraising events. Visit our Volunteer section for more information on how you can help.[/spoiler]