Huge news this week on the affordable housing front! On Wednesday Mayor Jenny Durkan put forth two new proposals to create more affordable housing options for low and middle-class families in Seattle.
One part of the bold legislation would invest over $50 million to build housing for people experiencing homelessness. The other measure would renew and extend Seattle’s Multifamily Tax Exemption Program. The MFTE was first introduced in 1998 and provides tax breaks to local developers who set aside at least 20% of their units as low income and rent-restricted housing.
“That means we have more affordable apartments and that more Seattleites of different income can live in the same neighborhood and building all across this city,” said Mayor Durkan.
Without this legislation, the program (which has created nearly 4,400 homes) is set to expire this year. Durkan said extending the MFTE Program would help support more than 1,300 new affordable housing units over the next three years. The legislation would also limit rent increases to no more than 4.5 percent. This rent increase cap would go a long way towards helping families who are feeling overwhelmed by increased housing costs.
Thanks to all the volunteers and donors who help us with our mission, Habitat for Humanity Seattle – King County has been able to put hundreds of families in safe and affordable homes. We have seen first hand what a huge difference it makes in people’s lives when they don’t have to worry about how they are going to pay rent every month. Being able to feel secure and to be able to save for emergencies and their families futures makes a world of difference to people. It’s great to see Mayor Durkan and the Seattle City Council tackling housing issues head-on!