Gregory J. Nickels (former Mayor)
SUBJECT: Housing Levy helping thousands to find affordable homes
4/4/2006 5:00:00 PM
Todd Burley (206) 684-5081
Housing Levy helping thousands to find affordable homes
Report notes Housing Levy
performance is exceeding goals
SEATTLE - The 2002 Seattle Housing Levy has created nearly 1,000 rental units affordable to those with lower incomes, and has helped more than 100 people to buy their first home in Seattle. In a report today to the Seattle City Council Housing, Human Services and Health Committee, Office of Housing Director Adrienne Quinn also noted the Levy has also provided rental assistance to more than two thousand households.
“Seattle is a great place to live, but not if you can’t afford a home here,” said Mayor Greg Nickels. “Thanks to voters, we are finding ways to meet the challenge of affordable housing, so that everyone who works in Seattle is able to live in Seattle.”
Seattle voters passed the Housing Levy in 2002. Allocation of Levy funds began in 2003 and will continue until 2009. Projects funded are required to remain affordable for at least 50 years. That translates to rent at prices no more than a third of the tenant’s income.
A recent City of Seattle Office of Housing review of Dupre+Scott and other real estate data found that about 70 percent of the rental units in downtown Seattle are affordable to single-person households with incomes anywhere from zero to $41,700 annually. The findings highlight the positive impact the Housing Levy has had this last three years and show the city has made great strides in creating a downtown that is affordable to all income levels.
“Not only are we exceeding our goals with the Housing Levy, in this last year the Levy is also allowing us to launch new and strengthen existing housing programs,” said Quinn.
In 2005 the City launched a new home ownership program for Seattle Public School teachers, providing up to $45,000 in a low-interest long-term loan, with no payments due for 30 years, or until the home is sold. The program, which reduces closing costs and waives lender fees, is working: the first teacher who qualified closed on a home this week.
The Teacher Homebuyer Program is for certified teachers or instructional assistants enrolled in a certification program looking to buy their first home. The program is for new teachers, and is reserved for those making $41,700 or less annually (for a single person household). It’s part of the Mayor’s ongoing commitment to ensure that anyone who works in Seattle can live in Seattle.
Get the mayor’s inside view on initiatives to promote transportation, public safety, economic opportunity and healthy communities by signing up for The Nickels Newsletter at www.seattle.gov/mayor/newsletter_signup.htm.
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