Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Seattle Votes to Tax Themselves to Provide more Affordable Housing

While Hawaii continues to kick the can down the road on affordable housing and impose draconian affordable housing requirements on developments, Seattle put the question to its voters.

Voters responded by overwhelmingly passing an affordable-housing levy, according to the Seattle Times. Details of the levy include:

  • It will cost homeowners about $17 per $100,000 of assessed property value annually;
  • The levy will help build or save 1,670 apartment units for renters earning less than 30 percent of the city’s median annual income; and
  • The levy will provide assistance for 550 renters annually, help fund 180 first-time home purchases and allow the city’s Office of Housing to buy land or buildings for future development.
According to the Seattle Office of Housing, since 1981, Seattle voters have approved one bond and three levies to create affordable housing.

See Marc Ramirez, Seattle overwhelmingly passes affordable-housing levy, Seattle Time, Nov.3, 2009. See also Affordable Housing for more on affordable housing issues.

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