(The Center Square) – The City of Seattle’s Affordable Housing Levy currently sits at 66% approval by voters, as initial results are being tallied as part of the 2023 general election.
The ballot measure would replace an expiring levy with a seven-year property tax increase. If initial votes continue to point to an approval by Seattleites, the tax rate would 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.
Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell proposed the levy in March, saying that there have been more than 16,000 people living in homes funded through the previous housing levy that was approved by voters in 2016. The levy renewal is expected to generate revenue that will go to more than 9,000 low-income people and provide over 3,000 affordable housing units.
Approximately 51% of levy funding is anticipated to serve households earning 30% or less of the Seattle area’s median income.
The new levy would 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.
To ensure sustainable operations in permanent supportive housing, $122 million would be utilized through 2030.
The remaining $141 million would be distributed as follows: $51 million for homeownership initiatives; $30 million to provide short-term rent assistance and housing stability services for low-income households; and $60 million to ensure continuous administration of all Housing Levy-funded programs by covering costs.
All of Washington state held a vote-by-mail election this year, with the deadline to turn in ballots at 8 P.M. Nov. 7.