Utility Allowances

Seattle Office of Housing programs primarily use the Seattle Housing Authority's (SHA) utility allowances when determining maximum rent levels (see Income & Rent Limits). These utility allowances are available on SHA's website. The "Utility Estimates" page lists allowances according to the utility types expected to be paid by the tenant household and by the number of bedrooms in the unit.

Housing projects awarded HOME Investement Partnership program funds on or after 8/23/13 are no longer permitted to use the utility allowances published by Public Housing Authorities, including the utility allowances available on SHA's website.  For complete details on what utility allowance methods are permitted for HOME-funded projects, as well as a summary of eligible utility allowance methods for all housing projects receiving direct funding under the Seattle Office of Housing Rental Housing Program, please review our Calculation & Approval of Utility Allowances policy.  This policy does NOT apply to the Multifamily Tax Exemption, Incentive Zoning or Mandatory Housing Affordability programs.

As outlined in the Calculation & Approval of Utility Allowances policy, housing projects with Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) administered by the Washington State Housing Finance Commission (WSHFC) may be able to use an alternative method for estimating utility allowances. Details on these alternative utility allowance methods can be found in Appendix O of the Tax Credit Compliance Procedures Manual. Please contact your project's assigned Seattle Office of Housing asset manager prior to implementing an alternative utility allowance model.