Yesterday, Council passed legislation that took action on the Mayor’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA). The legislation renews and expands the Multifamily Tax Exemption (MFTE) program as recommended by HALA.
The MFTE program – one housing affordability tool in a box of many – provides a tax exemption on the residential improvements on multifamily projects in residential targeted areas in exchange for setting aside a portion of the projects as income – and rent-restricted. More than 2,000 MFTE units – with many more in the pipeline – serve low and moderate wage households in market-rate buildings.
A few highlights of the expanded program:
- Expands residential target areas to all areas zoned for multifamily housing.
- Expands unit types to include congregate housing.
- Promotes family-sized units.
The bottom line of the legislation is an increase in affordable housing. Seattle will be able to house people who would otherwise find themselves priced out of the city.