Seattle voters have a strong record of support for affordable housing at the ballot box. Since 1981, voters have approved one bond and four levies to provide money to keep the city affordable. Seattle has now funded over 12,500 affordable apartments for seniors, low- and moderate-wage workers, and formerly homeless individuals and families. Those same funds have provided homeownership assistance to more than 900 first-time low-income home buyers and emergency rental assistance to more than 6,500 households. Voters face another big choice this August.
The 2009 Seattle Housing Levy expires at the end of 2016, and Mayor Murray and City Council have approved a new $290 million levy (over seven years) for the August 2 ballot. In late July, this ballot will be mailed to voters registered in Seattle.
When such measures directly and immediately impact our work, Capitol Hill Housing has the opportunity to make a formal recommendation to the Mayor and City Council.
In this case it is clear: this city funding source is absolutely critical to CHH’s ability to develop more affordable housing in the city. Without the Seattle Housing levy, recent projects such as Broadway Crossing, 12th Avenue Arts and the Haines – 162 affordable homes – would not have been possible. Levy funding will help build affordable housing in the Central District through the Liberty Bank Building, and is vital to the development of CHH apartments at the Capitol Hill Light Rail Station.
As the levy enables our work, it also lifts the work of our many partners and allies working to keep Seattle safe, affordable and accessible to all. Each city dollar invested leverages three dollars of public, private and philanthropic funds from across the city.
So we are pleased to announce that the Board of CHH recently supported a formal resolution recommending the Mayor and City Council adopt the 2016 Housing Levy. Read the full resolution below: