Housing Levy spending plan adopted with focus on homelessness prevention

Council changes boost rental assistance, improve data collection, serve additional groups

SEATTLE – Today the Seattle City Council adopted legislation from Councilmember Cathy Moore (District 5, North Seattle and Chair of the House and Human Services Committee) that guides the expenditure of the 2023 Housing Levy, as well as other key sources supporting Office of Housing (OH) programs such as the JumpStart Payroll Tax and Mandatory Housing Affordability program funding. Voters passed the $970 million, 7-year Housing Levy in 2023 to provide, produce, and preserve affordable housing and to assist low-income residents. Housing Levy and the related Housing Funding Policies are generally updated and approved by the Council every two to three years. These policies direct how the funds are spent, priorities and eligibility requirements for each program, as well as annual reporting requirements, and more.  

“Thanks to the voters’ approval of the 2023 Housing Levy, the City of Seattle has the ability to address some of our most pressing housing problems. The plan we passed today will put those levy dollars to good use,” said Councilmember Moore. “Today’s legislation will leverage Housing Levy funds to help build 3,000 or more desperately-needed affordable homes, grow opportunities for first-time home ownership, and vastly expand rental assistance to proactively prevent homelessness – amongst other vital programs and services.” 

Council’s changes to the plan

Led by Housing Chair Moore, the Council made a number of changes to the Housing Levy and related funding policies: 

  • Leverages the interest earnings from Levy funds to increase investments in the Homelessness Prevention Program which assists households at imminent risk of homelessness by allowing them to remain housed, provides case management, rental and utility assistance, and other programs. 
  • Adds a new objective and priority for the Rental Production program for housing that supports those recovering from substance use disorders. 
  • Adds housing priorities for people who were formerly served by the foster care system as well as U.S. veterans. 
  • Improves reporting about vacancies in affordable housing buildings. 


The original ordinance that placed the levy on the ballot required that the Office of Housing develop and submit to the council for adoption an Administration and Financial (A&F) Plan to guide implementation. Today’s approved plan will set funding priorities and policies for housing levy dollars between 2024 and 2026. It specifies dollar amounts allocated to each levy program, use of program income and investment earnings, descriptions of levy-funded programs, and reporting requirements. The plan also includes program guidelines and eligibility requirements for the Homelessness Prevention and Housing Stability Programs. This first A&F Plan will cover three years, with future updates by the City Council happening about every two years.  

The A&F Plan also includes Housing Funding Policies that establish program priorities, eligibility requirements, financing terms, and other guidelines for OH-administered housing programs that are supported not only by funding from the Housing Levy but also by the Jumpstart Payroll Tax and Mandatory Housing Affordability program.  

What’s next?

Now that the plan has been approved by the Council, it will go to the Mayor for his signature. He has the option of signing the legislation, vetoing it, or will be approved in 10 days without his signature. Once the legislation is finalized, it will go into effect 30 days afterward. 

The next A&F Plan will be considered by the Council in two years, in 2026.