Seattle Housing Levy

Since 1981, Seattle voters have approved one bond and five levies to create affordable housing. Seattle has now funded over 12,500 affordable apartments for seniors, low- and moderate-wage workers, and formerly homeless individuals and families, plus provided homeownership assistance to more than 900 first-time low-income home buyers and emergency rental assistance to more than 6,500 households.

Learn more about the need for affordable housing and the impact of the Housing Levy in Seattle on our new webpage Under One Roof Seattle

In August 2016, voters in Seattle approved a new $290 million levy by over 70%. Learn more on the 2016 Seattle Housing Levy Fact Sheet >

Implementing the 2016 Housing Levy Administrative & Financial Plan

The Office of Housing is seeking input on the Administrative & Financial Plan that guides the use of the 2016 Levy program funds. A Community Open House (11/16, 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at Seattle Municipal Tower) will include a presentation and discussion on the preliminary direction for the A&F Plan. A Funding Policy Discussion (11/29, 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at City Hall) will dive deeper into the specific funding policies for the Levy programs. More information on the A&F Plan is below. Please submit your comments by December 8th to Maureen.Kostyack@seattle.gov.

1981 Senior Housing Bond:  $48.17 million

  • Senior housing                                      $48,170,000                 1,297 units1  

1986 Housing Levy:  $49.975 million over 8 years

  • Small family rental housing                  $10,804,000                   446 units
  • Large family rental housing                  $10,996,000                   178 units1
  • Special needs rental housing              $14,575,000                    698 units
  • Downtown housing preservation           $6,100,000                    505 units
  • Operating and maintenance                   $5,000,000                    252 units2                                                    
    TOTAL PRODUCTION                                                                    1,818 units  

1995 Housing Levy:  $59.211 million over 7 years

  • Rental preservation & production          $46,531,678               2,301 units
  • Homebuyer assistance                           $  2,447,305                      90 units
  • Homeowner housing repair                   $  4,072,492                    241 units
  • Operating and maintenance                  $  8,751,000                    294 units2                        
    TOTAL PRODUCTION                                                                   2,632 units  

2002 Housing Levy:  $86 million over 7 years

  • Rental preservation & production          $56,100,000                1,882 units
  • Neighborhood housing opportunity       $  7,200,000                   333 units
  • Homebuyer assistance                           $  9,800,000                     197 units
  • Operating and maintenance                  $  7,800,000                    244 units2                        
    TOTAL PRODUCTION                                                                   2,459 units

  • Homelessness prevention                    $  2,800,000                 4,735 households

2009 Housing Levy:  $145 million over 7 years (Program Goals)

  • Rental preservation & production      $104,000,000                1,670 units
  • Homebuyer assistance                           $  9,090,000                   180 units
  • Operating and maintenance                  $14,400,000                  220 units2                        
    TOTAL PRODUCTION                                                                  1,850 units
  • Acquisition/opportunity loans                $  6,500,0003                 175 units
  • Homelessness prevention/                     $  4,248,000               3,025 households

1 Housing developed and owned by Seattle Housing Authority; not included in OH portfolio.

2 Units also received capital funding, therefore are not counted again in Total Production.

3 Short-term loans using other available Levy program funds.

Housing Levy Oversight Committee

With the passage of the Housing Levy, voters also approved the establishment of an oversight committee, for the purpose of monitoring the progress of Levy programs and reporting to the Mayor and City Council on that progress.

The 13 members of the Housing Levy Oversight Committee, all confirmed by City Council, are selected as follows:

  • one (1) City employee appointed by the Mayor
  • one (1) City employee appointed by the City Council
  • six (6) non-government employees appointed by the Mayor
  • five (5) non-government employees appointed by City Council

The current Housing Levy Oversight Committee members include:

  • Maiko Winkler-Chin, Chair, Seattle Chinatown International District Public Development Authority
  • Leslie Brinson Price, Office of Mayor Ed Murray
  • Vallerie Fischer, Southeast Seattle Resident
  • Jonathan Grant, Tenants Union of Washington State
  • Erin Christensen Ishizaki, Mithun Architects
  • Doug Ito, SMR Architects
  • Tory Laughlin Taylor, Bellwether Housing
  • Nicole Macri, Downtown Emergency Service Center
  • Leslie Price, Office of the Mayor
  • Traci Ratzliff, City Council Central Staff
  • Kelly Rider, Housing Development Consortium, Seattle/King County
  • Alice Shobe, Building Changes
  • Doug Vann, Quantum Management Services
  • Keri Williams, Enterprise Community Partners

Administrative and Financial Plan

Distribution of Housing Levy funds is guided by an Administrative & Financial Plan, reviewed and revised every two years and adopted by City Council. Download the current A&F Plan >

The Office of Housing is seeking input as we develop the 2016 Seattle Housing Levy Administrative and Financial Plan. This A&F Plan guides the use of Levy funds for the programs approved by Seattle voters this year. Mayor Murray will transmit legislation adopting the A&F Plan to the City Council in March 2017.

Community Open House
Wednesday, November 16

4:00 - 6:00 p.m., Seattle Municipal Tower (Room 4050)
Topics include:

  • Schedule and scope of Levy Administrative & Financial Plan
  • Preliminary direction on:
    • Project location priorities
    • Housing preservation and other anti-displacement strategies
    • Access to under-utilized public properties for affordable housing
    • Acquisition lending for rental and ownership development
    • Community relations and outreach
  • Opportunities for input on detailed funding policies

View the PowerPoint presentation >

Funding Policy Discussion
Tuesday, November 29

9:30 am - 12:00 pm
Seattle City Hall, Boards and Commissions Room
The Office of Housing plans to discuss the following levy programs:

  • Rental Housing Production & Preservation
  • Operating & Maintenance Program
  • Homeownership Program
  • Acquisition & Preservation Loan

For more information:  housing@seattle.gov or 206-684-0721.

Please submit your comments and questions by December 8th to Maureen.Kostyack@seattle.gov.