Many states have adopted programs and initiatives to tackle the affordability crisis. In Washington, policymakers and the housing industry have made concerted efforts to address the problem. Examples include:
The state’s Housing Trust Fund funds affordable housing projects through a competitive process throughout the state. The program has supported the creation and preservation of 47,000 affordable homes statewide over the past 30 years.
In 2016, Seattle voters approved a seven year, $290 million program that develops and preserves affordable housing. In addition, the program provides direct assistance to families at immediate risk of eviction and homelessness.
Seattle Multifamily Property Tax Exemption (MFTE)
The MFTE program provides a tax exemption on new multifamily communities that voluntary set aside 20-25% of apartments to be rent and income restricted.
Mandatory Housing Affordability
Seattle’s city council voted to pass an upzoning measure known as Mandatory Housing Affordability in March 2019. The measure enacts requirements for building affordable housing and taller residential buildings in 27 neighborhoods throughout Seattle. The goal is to provide at least 6,000 new rent and income-restricted, income-restricted homes for low-income people.