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 800 first-time homebuyers and rental assistance to more than 6,500 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.
News! Join the Office of Housing on Monday September 21st from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. at Seattle City Hall for the Seattle Housing Levy Community Meeting, a chance to learn about the levy and share your priorities for affordable housing in Seattle.
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
The Seattle Office of Housing hosted a community meeting on September 21 to share about the 2009 Seattle Housing Levy and discuss the future of this proven community resource to create and preserve affordable housing in Seattle.
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.
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 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
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 >