Mayor announces $47 million in affordable housing investments in 2016

Mayor Ed Murray announced the City’s commitment of $47 million in funding to produce and preserve 610 affordable homes. Mayor Murray made the announcement at the Capitol Hill Light Right Station, where the money will fund transit-oriented development, matching investments in affordable housing with other investments that make Seattle a more affordable and livable city. This investment is $13 million more than originally anticipated for the 2016 competitive funding process managed by the Seattle Office of Housing (OH) due to an increase in payments through the Incentive Zoning program.

“We once again see the power of leveraging public funding from the Housing Levy with incentive payments from developers to produce affordable housing in our city,” said Mayor Murray. “As we continue to work on investing and implementing housing affordability measures across the city, we are ensuring working people and families will have the resources to make Seattle home for years to come.”

This year marks the last year of funding from the 2009 Seattle Housing Levy, which was renewed and doubled by voters this August. For the last seven years, the 2009 Levy has provided $15 million per year to invest in affordable multifamily housing.

“I want to acknowledge Seattle voters for continuing their commitment to affordable housing through renewing the Housing Levy this year,” said Steve Walker, director of the Office of Housing. “With your support, this year we are ensuring 225 people experiencing homelessness and 385 low-income families will have an affordable place to call home.”

The 2016 funding awards will support the construction of six new buildings (with 472 apartments) and the preservation of three buildings (with 138 apartments) throughout Seattle. A full list of buildings is included below.

“From people experiencing homelessness to low-wage workers who want to live near where they work, the need for affordable housing in Seattle has never been greater,” stated Chris Persons, CEO of Capitol Hill Housing. “The funding provided by the City through the Housing Levy is made possible by the voters. Their support is critical to the creation of these buildings that ensure low-income residents will have access to housing options across the city.”

Every year, the Office of Housing provides a notice of funding availability to affordable housing developers and solicits proposals based on current City priorities. In June, OH announced $34 million in funding, and received 11 applications totaling $58 million in requests. An increase in the amount of payments from the Incentive Zoning program allowed OH to increase the total funding awarded to $47 million this year. Each City dollar is leveraged with three dollars from other sources to maximize these public investments.

Over the last 35 years, the Office of Housing has invested nearly $500 million in the creation and preservation of over 13,000 units of affordable housing. These apartments retain their affordability for at least 50 years. These homes provide stability for homeless adults, families and youth; seniors and people with disabilities; and low-wage working families.

More information on the Rental Housing Program can be found at www.seattle.gov/housing.

The Seattle Office of Housing provides support to low-income residents in Seattle through rental housing preservation and production, home buyer assistance, free weatherization services and home repair loans. www.seattle.gov/housing.

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