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Building community and creating affordable housing opportunities Steve Walker, Acting Director

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Since 1981, Seattle voters have approved one bond and four levies to create affordable housing. Seattle has now funded over 11,000 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.

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2009 Seattle Housing Levy
In November 2009, Seattle voters overwhelmingly approved the renewal of the Seattle Housing Levy (see more about the renewal process).

The 2009 Housing Levy has five programs:

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

See 2009 Housing Levy Fact Sheet for detailed descriptions of programs; see also the annual reports:

Administrative & 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. On September 23, 2013, City Council adopted the 2014-2016 A&F Plan, which will be effective Jan. 1, 2014-Dec. 31, 2016.

Oversight Committee

With the passage of the 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
  • one (1) City employee appointed by the Mayor
  • 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

2002 Seattle Housing Levy
In 2002, the voters of Seattle passed a seven-year, $86 million property tax levy to provide affordable housing opportunities for low-income Seattle residents. When the the 2002 Housing Levy was wrapped up at the end of 2009, it had met or exceeded all of its goals.

See the Seattle Housing Levy 2009 Report of Accomplishments, as prepared by the Office of Housing and the Housing Levy Oversight Committee and presented to the City Council.


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