Seattle Housing Levy

Since 1981, Seattle voters have approved one bond and four levies to create affordable housing. Seattle has now funded over 12,000 affordable apartments for seniors, low- and moderate-wage workers, and formerly homeless individuals and families, plus provided down-payment loans to more than 600 first-time homebuyers and rental assistance to more than 4,000 households.

In November 2009, Seattle voters overwhelmingly approved the renewal of the Seattle Housing Levy. This seven-year property tax levy will expire at the end of 2016. The 2009 Housing Levy has five programs:

  • Rental Production & Preservation
  • Operating & Maintenance Fund
  • Rental Assistance
  • Homebuyer Assistance
  • Acquisition & Opportunity Loan Fund

To learn more about the Housing Levy, download the fact sheet or most recent annual report on the sidebar.

Planning for the Next Seattle Housing Levy

In preparation for a potential new levy for affordable housing in 2016, the Office of Housing is holding a number of technical and public meetings in 2015 to receive feedback on programs and priorities. Below is a list of engagement opportunities.

Housing Levy Community Meeting - September 21

Monday, September 21, 2015
5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Seattle City Hall, Bertha Knight Landes Room

Join the Seattle Office of Housing to learn about the 2009 Seattle Housing Levy and discuss the future of this proven community resource to create and preserve affordable housing in Seattle. We will share information on the current levy and its successes, and engage with you in a discussion about the future of the levy.

Planning the Next Seattle Housing Levy - July 22

At this meeting, Seattle Office of Housing staff discussed accomplishments of the current levy, the future direction of a potential new levy, and sought input on some of the technical issues and policy choices ahead of us. Three programs were discussed: rental housing production and preservation, operating and maintenance, and homeownership assistance.

Meeting materials:

Seattle Housing Levy History

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.

Levy Oversight Committee

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 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
  • Hal Ferris, Vice Chair, Spectrum Development Solutions
  • Leslie Brinson Price, Office of Mayor Ed Murray
  • Vallerie Fischer, Southeast Seattle Resident
  • Jonathan Grant, Tenants Union of Washington State
  • Doug Ito, SMR Architects
  • Marty Kooistra, Housing Development Consortium of Seattle-King County
  • Tory Laughlin Taylor, Bellwether Housing
  • Nicole Macri, Downtown Emergency Service Center
  • Traci Ratzliff, City Council Central Staff
  • Alice Shobe, Building Changes
  • Josephine Tamayo Murray, Catholic Community Services of Western Washington
  • Keri Williams, Enterprise Community Partners

Administrative and Financial Plan

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 >