Councilmember Mosqueda Creates JumpStart Community Self-Determination Fund to Fight Displacement & Discrimination

Home » Councilmember Mosqueda Creates JumpStart Community Self-Determination Fund to Fight Displacement & Discrimination

SEATTLE – Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda (Position 8, Citywide) celebrated the 7-0 vote to pass her bill creating the JumpStart Housing Community Self-Determination Fund It is funded by revenue from the JumpStart progressive payroll tax to support organizations building housing to address displacement, redress the longstanding harms of discriminatory lending practices, and advance equitable development. This fund will help create greater housing stability in communities that are disproportionately impacted by housing insecurity and homelessness, face higher eviction rates, and have disproportionately lower homeownership rates and household wealth—disparities that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Communities most impacted by displacement and past discriminatory policies need to be first in line for community ownership and to have self-determination over how to house their neighbors. Policy barriers that previously made it difficult for smaller community-based organizations to access funding to purchase land or build affordable housing are now being reduced. The JumpStart Housing Community Self-Determination Fund will help organizations acquire land, build housing, couple housing with needed services, create educational programs, small business opportunities, community and cultural space, and build organizational capacity — so that communities are the developers and owners of their own destinies,” said Mosqueda. 

The Community Self-Determination Fund would reduce barriers for community-based organizations (CBOs) to enter the affordable housing sector, particularly for those CBOs that have traditionally been excluded from the industry. It is also intended to support more community-driven projects for communities living with the impacts of displacement and discrimination. Potential partner organizations for this new fund and its accompanying programs include, but are not limited to, Africatown Community Land Trust, Chief Seattle Club, Filipino Community of Seattle, El Centro de la Raza, Mt. Zion, Seattle Chinatown International District Public Development Authority (SCIDpda), and Interim CDA. Altogether, a currently estimated $24 million annually will be available for supporting this anti-displacement work, or about 13% of available JumpStart revenue dedicated to housing and services. 

Currently, the financing for these types of acquisition and preservation loans is provided from a temporary source. The revenue from the JumpStart will create a new, permanent source for these types of loans. The legislation creates a capacity-building program for community-based organizations, grants for training, and predevelopment expenses. Organizations that complete this program will be eligible to apply for JumpStart acquisition and preservation loans, which will be competitively awarded and rigorously reviewed, and will also be eligible for additional support to build organizational capacity and infrastructure. 

“The Office of Housing (OH) looks forward to continuing and expanding its support for organizations that are historically and culturally rooted in communities most impacted by discriminatory housing practices and displacement, said Office of Housing Director Maiko Winkler-Chin. “The JumpStart Community Self-Determination Fund will help OH advance its capacity-building efforts and foster affordable housing development led by these community-driven organizations. I personally know that this program is something that community-based organizations have hoped for in their desire to better serve their communities and that OH could not do without the funding provided by the payroll expense tax. We look forward to working with community partners and Council to make this program a strong community development tool that creates affordable housing and also provides multiple community benefits.” 

“El Centro de la Raza’s model of affordable housing is really about building community and making sure affordable housing is paired with other elements that support community—childcare, small business space, community and cultural space—so that not just those who live and work there, but the entire neighborhood and city see it as an asset,” said Estela Ortega, Executive Director of El Centro de la Raza. “The JumpStart Community Self-Determination fund will be an incredibly valuable asset to support smaller organizations in building capacity and acquiring land to create affordable housing that serves and strengthens communities.” 

“After opening the multigenerational Filipino Community Village, a senior housing community paired with STEAM education space for youth, the Filipino Community of Seattle is ready to build family-sized affordable housing for working families in the community,” said Velma Veloria, who works with the Filipino Community Center and is a former WA State 11th LD Rep. “We had a landowner who was ready to sell his property and offered Filipino Community of Seattle first refusal to buy it, but requirements in existing funds were a roadblock—and we did not have the needed funds to buy the land. With the JumpStart Community Self-Determination Fund, we will be able to buy the land and have time to create a plan for affordable housing there, and build our organizational capacity for future projects to serve the community.” 

“As a community development organization in the Chinatown-International District, SCIDpda emphasizes not only developing housing but also commercial space that can bring in businesses that reflect the community—we not only consider the housing, but we consider how the folks who live and work there are going to experience a project,” said Jamie Lee of Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority (SCIDpda). “Over the years, SCIDpda has attempted to acquire land in the Chinatown-International District but has had challenges acquiring the needed funding. We hope that this JumpStart funding will help break down barriers and enable us to continue to develop affordable housing and small business space in the neighborhood, where many parcels are getting bought out quickly. Providing acquisition funding is the first step in community control of land.” 

The legislation, now passed by Council, will go to the Mayor for his signature. If signed, it will go into effect 30 days afterward. 


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