Seattle Housing Levy

What is the Seattle Housing Levy?

Since 1986 the Housing Levy has been the cornerstone of funding for affordable housing in Seattle, creating and preserving over 11,000 affordable rental homes and over 1,000 homeownership opportunities throughout the city. Thanks to investments from the Housing Levy, over 16,000 people currently live in safe, stable homes they can afford. For nearly 45 years, Seattle residents have consistently supported this critical resource, with the most recent Housing Levy in 2023 receiving a voter approval rate of over 69%.

2023 Housing Levy Renewal

With the 2016 Housing Levy set to expire at the end of 2023, Seattle voters approved the renewal of the 2023 Housing Levy on November 7, 2023, providing a seven-year extension. With this passage, the levy will continue to play a vital role in creating affordable housing, keeping low-income families in their homes, and providing urgent help to those who are at risk of, or experiencing homelessness. The levy’s investments will support housing affordability for at least 50 years, providing the city’s residents with generational security and stability.

This levy’s goals and strategies will encourage the development of family-size apartments and for-sale homes, bolstering nonprofit community-based organizations in constructing housing that aligns with the unique needs of their communities, advocating for mixed-use development that encompasses childcare, small business opportunities, and cultural spaces, and enhancing investments in workforce stabilization and resident services.

Furthermore, the 2023 Housing Levy will:

  • Create Over 3,100 New Affordable Homes: The levy will support the development of more than 3,100 new affordable housing homes, encompassing both rental and homeownership opportunities, meeting the needs of diverse households and providing a foundation for healthy and resilient communities.
  • Stabilize Supportive Housing Workforce: For the first time, Housing Levy investments will stabilize wages for workers providing essential services to our most vulnerable residents. This ensures that the critical supportive service needs of low-income individuals and families are met.
  • Prevent Homelessness and Ensure Housing Stability: The levy will provide direct assistance to prevent homelessness through short-term rent assistance and housing stability services, with a commitment to serving over 9,000 low-income individuals and families.

The 2023 Housing Levy was developed following 16 months of stakeholder engagement, public meetings, and coordination between the Mayor’s Office, City Council, and the Office of Housing. To learn more about the 2023 Housing Levy’s programs and goals, please read OH’s blog post.

In August 2016, Seattle voters approved a $290 million Housing Levy with ambitious affordable housing goals. After five years, the 2016 Housing Levy has exceeded its goals around rental housing production, rental housing preservation, and homeownership, and is on track to meet the remaining goals by the end of 2023. For a detailed report on Housing Levy outcomes as of 2022, see the 2022 Seattle Housing Levy Report, or see the 2016 Housing Levy Accoplishments for a two-page summary. 

Summary of 5-Year Progress Toward 7-Year Housing Levy Goals (2017-2022)

Seattle 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, recommending funding policies, and annually reporting to the Mayor, City Council, and the public.

The 13 members of the Housing Levy Oversight Committee, all confirmed by City Council, are selected as follows:

  • one City employee appointed by the Mayor
  • one City employee appointed by the City Council
  • six community members appointed by the Mayor
  • five community members appointed by City Council

The current Housing Levy Oversight Committee members include:

Ann Melone, Chair, U.S. Bancorp
Andrea Caupain, BIPOC ED Coalition
Cara Kadoshima VallierOffice of Mayor Bruce Harrell
Dan WiseCatholic Community Services
Denise RodriguezWashington Homeownership Resource Center
Febbe Fekadu, ETS REACH
James Lovell, Chief Seattle Club
Joel IngEdge Developers
Noah Fay, DESC
Patience MalabaHousing Development Consortium of Seattle-King County
Paul Park, Solid Ground
Sunaree Marshall, King County Housing Homelessness and Community Development Division
Traci RatzliffCity Council Central Staff

Inquiries about the Housing Levy Oversight Committee can be referred to the Office of Housing's Staff Liaison, Nathan Antonio

2023

2022

2021

2020



Housing

Maiko Winkler-Chin, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 5700, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 94725, Seattle, WA , 98124-4725
Phone: (206) 684-0721
Fax: (206) 233-7117
Housing@seattle.gov

Newsletter Updates

Subscribe

Sign up for the latest updates from Housing

The mission of the Office of Housing (OH) is to create strong, healthy communities, prevent displacement, and increase opportunities for people of all income levels to live in Seattle.