Mayor Durkan Announces $75 Million to Create and Preserve 1,400 Affordable Homes, the Largest Single-Year Increase in Seattle’s History

Office of Housing will invest an additional $10 million in 2018 for development in Northgate

City will leverage $314  million  in additional investments through public and private sources  to invest approximately $383 million in new affordable housing*  

Almost 4,000 new affordable homes now expected to come online by 2022  

Seattle  (December 17, 2018) – Mayor Jenny A. Durkan today announced that the City of Seattle will invest more than $75 million to build and preserve more than 1,400 affordable homes in neighborhoods across Seattle, the largest number of  affordable homes ever created in Seattle in one year. The City’s rental housing  awards of $75 million  will support at least an additional  $314 million  in investments through additional public and private sources.  Thus, at a time of significant need, the City’s investments will bring the total  2018 affordable housing  investment to more than $389 million. Last year’s award of $100 million spurred additional investments to result in $322 million. Thus, in two years the City was able to obtain a total of more than $710 million dedicated to creating and preserving affordable homes.*

The 2018 funding awards will support the construction in Seattle of ten new buildings (1,197  apartments). In addition, the City’s investment will help preserve 238 existing affordable homes in nine buildings. The Office of Housing will also make a future investment of up to $10 million to create at least 200 additional new affordable homes at the Northgate transit site owned by King County Metro, in cooperation with King County. This Transit Oriented Development funding will bring the City’s 2018 total affordable housing investments to over $85 million. King  County will  formally  announce  this investment in the near future.  This additional investment will bring the City’s impact to 1,600 new and preserved homes. A full list of buildings is included below  (Northgate excluded).

The  funds invested through the City’s Office of Housing will provide affordable homes  through a broad range of housing  types  to meet the unique needs of low-income residents. Several  of the new affordable housing buildings  will include ground floor  community  spaces  to  benefit the residents of the new buildings, as well as the surrounding community.

“With this investment, we are poised to deliver the largest number of new affordable homes ever in one year in Seattle. And together with funds I announced last year we will move forward with over $680 million in new affordable homes. Our City is delivering on our commitment to advance public health, create more affordable housing, and make Seattle a more affordable place to live,” said Mayor Durkan. “Too many long-time Seattle residents are getting priced out and pushed out of Seattle. We need to urgently increase the amount of affordable housing to stop the huge displacement of people and provide permanent housing for people experiencing homelessness.”

Funding sources for the Office of Housing investments include the 2016 voter-passed Seattle Housing Levy, incentive zoning and Mandatory Housing Affordability payments, proceeds from the sale of surplus properties, and $30 million from the community benefits package through  the development of the Washington State Convention Center.

“Having a stable home matters,”  said Steve Walker,  Director of the Office of Housing. “We will continue to find more innovative ways to work with strategic partnerships and to more quickly deliver affordable homes in our city  to meet the diverse needs of low-income community members, enabling  working people, families,  seniors  and those experiencing homelessness to live in and contribute to our  City.”

“We are thrilled to have the support of the City of Seattle to realize our vision for the  Chief Seattle  Club  ?al?al  Housing,” said  Colleen  Echohawk, Executive Director of the Chief Seattle Club, one of the 2018 funding award recipients. “With the clinic operated by the Seattle Indian Health Board, the Chief Seattle Club program space,  and a gallery café right in the building, we will be able to serve people with a wide range of housing and service needs, while supporting the physical, cultural and spiritual needs of people in the  Native community.”

Every year, the Office of Housing provides a notice of funding availability for the Rental Housing Program. Affordable housing developers submit proposals that respond to City priorities. This year’s awards support 14 of the proposals.  The  funding for new construction will provide a spectrum of housing  to meet community needs  including permanent supportive housing for those experiencing homelessness,  community  apartments for low-income individuals,  families  and senior citizens.  The  Office of Housing’s 2018 investments also include  reinvestment in several  buildings  which will  increase  the longevity of the buildings, while extending affordability for an additional 50 years.

Over the last 37 years, the Office of Housing has invested nearly $550 million in the creation and preservation of over 16,000 affordable rental homes. These homes are located in high-quality, sustainable buildings located throughout the City of Seattle.  They remain affordable to people with incomes ranging from zero to 60% of the area median income for a minimum of 50 years, and typically many years longer, and 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 and the Seattle Housing Levy 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

*Updated January 2, 2019