(The Center Square) – Despite votes still being counted, Seattle city leaders are calling a victory over the proposed affordable housing levy currently sitting at a 66% voter approval.
The ballot measure replaces an expiring seven-year property tax levy with a new levy that is anticipated to collect $970 million through 2030, or $138.6 million annually. Out of the total generated revenue, the most spending would be approximately $707 million toward creating and preserving affordable rental housing for seniors, homeless people and other low-income households.
“Today’s passage of the Seattle Housing Levy by Seattle voters shows our community’s commitment to finding solutions for the housing, displacement, and homelessness crises,” Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda said in a Wednesday statement.
Mosqueda added that the levy would build on the previous successes from the original housing levy, including over 16,000 people estimated to live in levy-supported homes at any given time and increased housing stability for thousands of families.
“The return on these investments is immeasurable, and we should be immensely proud as a community,” Mosqueda said.
For 2024, the new tax levy will start at 45 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, or $383 a year for the median Seattle homeowner. That is approximately $261 more per year than the expiring levy’s median cost of $122 per year.
The affordable housing levy was unanimously endorsed by the Seattle City Council after Mayor Bruce Harrell proposed it in March 2023.
“We know issues of affordability, housing access, and homelessness are strongly interconnected, and this comprehensive package is designed to make a meaningful impact,” Harrell said following the initial votes. “The levy means more resources to build more affordable places and permanent supportive housing for people to live.”