WA Commerce Department announces $302 million in affordable housing funds



(The Center Square) – With Washington’s population in the top 10 for growth in the 2021-2022 census, gaining a total of 45,041 new residents, and the price of housing continuing to rise, it’s no wonder affordable housing is at the forefront of politics in the Evergreen State.

The Washington State Department of Commerce recently announced more than $302 million in capital financing for affordable housing development.

The funds, which come from a mix of sources, are available to “eligible non-profits, local governments, community housing development agencies, tribal governments and housing authorities.”

“Stable housing is the foundation for self-sufficiency,” said Commerce Director Mike Fong in a statement accompanying the announcement. “These historic investments are crucial to tackling a decades-long deficit in housing that is affordable and available to those who need it most.”

Fong joined Gov. Jay Inslee and Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell last week at the opening of the new YWCA building on 800 East Denny Way, which received $20 million in investment from the Housing Trust Fund.

Part of the 2021-23 biennium investment pool, the building was a small slice of the more than $723 million invested during that time period. A full 40% of that investment went to projects within King County, according to the investment summary from the Department of Commerce.

According to the investment strategy packet that accompanied the announcement, the 2023-25 Multifamily Housing Unit fund “endeavors to be pro-equity, quality driven, collaborative and relationally driven” and is “focused on making conditions for affordable housing residents the best in the nation.”

As previously reported by The Center Square, 76% of Washington State residents are priced out of the $430,000 median home, and more than 50,000 households per year are needed to keep up with existing growth.

Applications for funding are open through Sep. 18. Funding announcements are expected to be made sometime in December.



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