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Seattle Housing Levy

What is the Seattle Housing Levy?

Since 1981 the Housing Levy has been the cornerstone of funding for affordable housing in Seattle, creating and preserving over 14,000 affordable rental homes and over 900 homeownership opportunities throughout the city. The Housing Levy has also provided long-term and consistent operating, maintenance, and services support for over 1,300 affordable homes. Over the past 40 years, Seattle residents have consistently supported this critical resource, with the most recent Housing Levy receiving a voter approval rate of over 70%.

Why is the Office of Housing developing a proposal to renew the Housing Levy?

Housing Levy funds work together with other local funds, including proceeds from the Payroll Expense Tax and Mandatory Housing Affordability program, to help the Office of Housing and our partners address needs across the entire affordable housing ecosystem. Office of Housing investments are creating more affordable homes than ever, with nearly 6,000 new affordable rental and for-sale homes slated to open in the coming years. However, the need for affordable and available homes in Seattle is greater than ever. With the 2016 Housing Levy set to expire at the end of 2023, the Office of Housing and Director Maiko Winkler-Chin are now developing a proposal to renew it.

In August 2016, Seattle voters approved a $290 million Housing Levy with ambitious affordable housing goals. After five years, the 2016 Housing Levy has exceeded its goals around rental housing production, rental housing preservation, and homeownership, and is on track to meet the remaining goals by the end of 2023.

Summary of 5-Year Progress Toward 7-Year Housing Levy Goals (2017-2021)

Seattle 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, recommending funding policies, and annually reporting to the Mayor, City Council and the public.

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

  • one City employee appointed by the Mayor
  • one City employee appointed by the City Council
  • six community members appointed by the Mayor
  • five community members appointed by City Council

The current Housing Levy Oversight Committee members include:

Ann Melone, Chair, U.S. Bancorp
Beth Boram, Beacon Development Group
Cara Kadoshima Vallier, Office of Mayor Bruce Harrell
Colin Morgan-Cross, Mercy Housing Northwest
Danien James, The Northwest School
Dan Wise, Catholic Community Services
Denise Rodriguez, Washington Homeownership Resource Center
Erin Christensen Ishizaki, Mithun Architects
Joel Ing, Edge Developers
Patience Malaba, Housing Development Consortium
Pradeepta Upadhyay, InterIm CDA
Traci Ratzliff, City Council Central Staff
Vallerie Fisher, Southeast Seattle Resident

Levy Open Houses

The Seattle Office of Housing will host “Open House” events virtually and at buildings funded by the 2016 Housing Levy. Community members are invited to learn about the successful outcomes of the 2016 Levy and hear from Office of Housing staff about the Initial Housing Levy Renewal Proposal. This event is an opportunity for community members to share feedback and comments about the Initial Housing Levy Renewal Proposal, which will inform recommendations that the Office of Housing will put forward to the Mayor. Open House events are free and open to the public. Registration is required for the virtual Open House. No pre-registration is required for the in-person open houses.

  • DESC's Hobson Place Supportive Housing - Salish Mural Room
    Tuesday, December 6, 2022, 3:00pm-6:00pm
    2120 S. Plum Street, Seattle, WA 98144
    Masks are required at Hobson Place (the space is shared with a clinic). Please use the enterance off Plum Street (the clinic entrance, not the residential entrance on 22nd Avenue). Limited street parking is available nearby. 
  • Northaven West Senior Housing 
    Wednesday, December 14, 2022, 3:00pm-6:00pm
    11045 8th Avenue NE, Seattle, WA, 98125
    Masks are strongly encouraged. Limited parking is available on-site and on-street. Please do not park in the Post Office parking lot across the street, unauthorized vehicles parked there may be towed. Event location is in the Northaven Independent building, Harbor Room. 
  • Virtual Seattle Housing Levy Open House
    Thursday, January 5, 4:00pm-6:00pm
    Zoom Meeting
    Click here to register After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
    PLEASE NOTE: Personal information entered on the registration form and shared during the meeting (including audio, video, and chat records) is subject to the Washington State Public Records Act (RCW Chapter 42.56), and may be subject to disclosure to a third-party requester. At the City of Seattle we are committed to protecting your privacy and will ensure that any disclosures are done according to law. To learn more about how this information is managed, please see our Privacy Statement.

    Please check back in the coming weeks for more details about these events, or click here to sign up for updates about the Seattle Housing Levy and other Office of Housing news.

Public Meetings

The Housing Levy Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), made up of technical and subject matter experts in the affordable housing field, has convened to provide feedback on the initial Levy proposal. Public comment periods were also offered at TAC meetings for those interested in testifying about the Levy proposal. Open Houses in Levy-funded buildings have also taken place where members of the public had an opportunity to learn about the Levy and provide input on the initial proposal. Public comment will be accepted through January 13, 2023 and can be submitted by contacting Nathan.Antonio@seattle.gov

Previous Meetings

Public comments received at TAC meetings, Open House events, and via e-mail before January 13, 2023 will be compiled, analyzed, and used to inform the Office of Housing Director’s Housing Levy Proposal to Mayor Harrell.



Housing

Maiko Winkler-Chin, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 5700, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 94725, Seattle, WA , 98124-4725
Phone: (206) 684-0721
Fax: (206) 233-7117
Housing@seattle.gov

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The mission of the Office of Housing (OH) is to create strong, healthy communities, prevent displacement and increase opportunities for people of all income levels to live in Seattle.