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Mosqueda Statement In Support of Council Passing Financial Plan to Support Low-Income Households

Amendments to Housing Funding Policies prioritize equitable development in communities at risk of displacement, good jobs

SEATTLE Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda (Position 8, Citywide), and Chair of Council’s Housing, Health, Energy and Workers’ Rights Committee (HHEWR), issued the following statement in support of Council Bill 119531, an ordinance relating to housing for low-income households:

“The Housing Levy Administrative and Financial Plan and Housing Funding Policies (A&F Plan), is a very technical title for what is really Seattle’s Housing Moral Compass that guides the City’s investments in affordable housing,” said Mosqueda. “The legislation passed today by the City Council reflects the voices and priorities of organizations rooted in and led by communities most impacted by Seattle’s housing and displacement crises, housing advocates and non-profit affordable housing developers, and our labor partners in the building trades to ensure our investments create homes that strengthen resilient communities, open up equitable access to opportunity, support families and individuals striving to get out of generational poverty—and create good jobs for those who build these homes.”

“The Housing Levy is a critical resource to realize community-driven projects like El Centro’s Plaza Roberto Maestas,” said Estela Ortega, Executive Director of El Centro de la Raza. “When we invest in affordable housing development that meets multiple community values and needs—like childcare, gathering spaces, art, and places for small local businesses to grow—we create more than just housing units—we increase the health, diversity, and resilience of our communities. This plan will ensure that community-driven development is prioritized in the City’s affordable housing investments, particularly where they’re most needed, in neighborhoods experiencing displacement.”

“This legislation updates the City’s housing funding policies to align with equitable development principles and outcomes that communities experiencing displacement have been advocating for over the past five years,” said Nicole Vallestero Keenan-Lai, Executive Director of Puget Sound Sage. “By prioritizing development that is led by organizations led by and accountable to communities most impacted by displacement, our housing investments will help create opportunities so that residents don’t have to choose between living near family, community, or culturally relevant services and ensuring they or their children have access to a brighter future.” 

“In addition to working with Chair Mosqueda on strategies to advance labor equity outcomes in City-funded rental housing developments, including creating a pre-apprenticeship pipeline for Seattle Housing Authority projects,  I appreciated the opportunity to use the plan to define Housing First principles as the expected approach to serve people with significant barriers, partner with providers to prevent abuses of Mutual Termination Agreements raised in the ‘Losing Home’ report, and to comply with City law to prohibit criminal background checks when screening tenants, except as required by federal law,” said Councilmember Lisa Herbold (District 1 – West Seattle & South Park).  “In addition, I offered amendments to increase subsidies for 3-bedroom homeownership units and allow levy funds to build detached accessory dwelling units to help increase affordable housing options for low income households.”

“There is much work to be done to create adequate revenue to meet the growing need for affordable housing in Seattle and the region,” Mosqueda concluded.  “This plan will ensure that as new funding sources are identified and we administer existing funding sources such as the Housing Levy, MHA, and Incentive Zoning payments, they work to support investments that truly reflect our values and vision for Seattle.”

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About Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda:  Teresa fights every day to build an economy that works for all of us, make sure we can afford to live in the city where we work, and protect the rights of every member of our City.  She has dedicated her life to amplifying the voices of our working families.  Teresa brings a decade of experience working with labor unions and working families to City Council and most recently served as the Political and Strategic Campaign Director of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO.  Teresa is a third-generation Mexican-American, the daughter of educators and social justice advocates.  

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