Administrative & Funding Plan for City’s Investments in Affordable Housing
On Monday, the Full Council approved the Administrative & Funding Plan for how the Office of Housing (OH) awards and distributes funding for affordable housing in the City. Seattle has a large network of nonprofit affordable housing developers and providers who are experts in building housing to serve the diverse needs and experiences of housing instability and homelessness.
I sponsored several amendments that were incorporated into the final Plan:
- A “Housing First” definition, so that providers applying for funding understand the City’s expectations of Housing First principles
- Requiring written Mutual Termination Agreement policies and their evaluation to prevent misuse in accordance with recommendations of the Losing Home Report
- Require providers’ policies to align with City law in screening tenant applications
- Requiring that Seattle Housing Authority projects receiving $5 million or more in City funding include a goal that 1 out of 5 apprentices hired for the project come from a pre-apprenticeship program
- Increasing the maximum funding available for homeownership projects that are three bedrooms allowing loan funding to build rent restricted detached- and attached accessory dwelling units
Councilmember Mosqueda led this effort. I was proud to partner with her to include an amendment requesting OH and the Finance and Administrative Services (FAS) department to advance labor equity outcomes in affordable housing construction projects such as apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship utilization, and hiring workers from targeted zip codes, components of tracking our workforce that we already require for public works projects under the City’s Priority Hire program. The City’s role as a funder for affordable housing development can help ensure your housing levy tax dollars are—in addition to building affordable housing—promoting wealth and career pathways for communities historically marginalized or excluded from construction trades, specifically people of color and women.
Turning to the nature of our affordable housing and homelessness crisis in Seattle and the County; the McKinsey Report shows that rising homelessness has tracked with rent increases in our region. The report states that since 2011, the available supply of units for households at 80 percent of the Average Median Income (or almost $80,000 for a household of 3) has more than doubled, and “…those affordable to households earning 50 percent or less of the AMI have almost halved.” This situation prices people out of our housing market and drives people with lowest incomes out of the City or into homelessness.
It’s the Office of Housing’s mission to fund affordable housing projects for people with the severest housing need. As mentioned earlier, our partners who build affordable housing are ready to build more. OH’s 2019 Intent to Apply generated interest for housing providers to develop over 2,300 units across the City projected to cost over $190 million. OH has indicated that despite providers being ready to build $190 million in housing in 2019, the City only has about $50 million to spend.
To put this spending into perspective, the McKinsey report also projects that King County would need to invest between $360- 410 million annually to adequately fund interventions like rapid rehousing and Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) for people with the severest housing need. To do our part in meeting this regional need, I propose that the City—as one King County jurisdiction—double its annual housing investments in each of the remaining years of the levy so that we meet this threshold. In 2017 I championed legislation to allow the City to issue limited tax general obligation bonds for infrastructure projects, and I am excited by new bonding authority granted by the state that could allow Seattle to retain a portion of the sales tax that would otherwise go the State to enhance our bonding capacity for affordable housing.
This state law requires a restructure of the sales tax starting with a resolution stating the intent to use the new bonding authority within 6 months of the July 2019 date that the law goes into effect—I will keep you updated on my efforts to do so!
Junction Reuse and Recycle with Shredding June 29th
Have an old appliance, clothing, electronics or other hard to get rid of household goods? The annual Reuse, Recycle, and Shredding event is coming up on June 29 where you can recycle and reuse many difficult to dispose-of items for free!
Where: West Seattle Junction Parking Lot located on the corner of SW Oregon and 42nd Ave SW.
When: Saturday, June 29, 9am – 1pm
NOT ACCEPTED ITEMS INCLUDE:
- Automotive waste
- Broken furniture
- Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs)
- Construction waste
- Hazardous waste
- Car seats
- Household batteries
- Non-recyclable or non-reusable items
Staff reserves the right to refuse items that are not listed, contaminated, or too large.
For more information on where to dispose of items not accepted visit: seattle.gov/Util/MyServices/WhereDoesItGo/
Arts in Nature Festival June 29th/30th
The Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association is hosting the Arts in Nature Festival this weekend on Saturday and Sunday at Camp Long. The festival integrates art, nature and neighborhood.
Activities include film, music, dance, poetry, comedy, theater and other performances. Here’s a link to the activity schedule.
Lunch & Learn: The AIDS Memorial Pathway Project
Join Committee Chairs Herbold and Juarez on Tuesday July 7/9 from noon- 1:30 pm for Lunch-at-Learn to hear about The AMP from the Office of Arts & Culture, commissioned artists, and community members.
In 2020, the plaza over Seattle’s Capitol Hill Light Rail Station next to Cal Anderson Park will become home to The AMP: AIDS Memorial Pathway. The AMP will feature dynamic art installations and plaza space that will enshrine the historical and current efforts of advocates and activists fighting to end HIV/AIDS and discrimination.
The AMP is coming together through the passionate leadership of volunteers and community leaders, including people living with HIV, people of color, and members of the LGBTQIA+ community. In the spring of 2018 The AMP partnered with the City’s Office of Arts & Culture to commission artist Horatio Hung-Yan Law to write a master art plan guided by months of outreach and conversation with communities affected by HIV/AIDS, especially people of color, transgender individuals, and other historically under-represented communities.
Agency and private partners that have also played a role will be featured in this conversation: Sound Transit, Seattle Parks Department, Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), Office of Arts & Culture, Berger Partnership, Schemata Workshop, and Gerding Edlen, the developer of the Transit Oriented Development (TOD).