VITAL SIGNS UPON ARRIVAL

POPULATION
608,660
% OF ADULTS WITH BACHELOR’S+
58.9%
MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME
$70,594
POVERTY RATE
13.5%

"How can the City of Seattle continue to maintain a range of affordable housing options, even as the city's tech and other industries flourish?"

Client: City of Seattle

Since 1981, voters in Seattle, WA have approved one bond and five tax levies to create an affordable housing fund. The city has now funded more than 12,500 affordable apartments for seniors, low-and moderate-wage workers, and formerly homeless individuals and families, and has provided homeownership assistance to more than 900 first-time, low-income home buyers and emergency rental assistance to more than 6,500 households.

czb was instrumental in designing the city's levy program, which now plays a central role in the city's affordable housing delivery system.

For every $1 invested by the Seattle Levy, approximately $4 is leveraged from external public and private funding. Funds from the bond and levies have been used in five programs since the program's inception:

  • Capital grants for new construction and preservation of rental housing units
  • Funding for operations and maintenance of existing housing
  • Rental subsidies
  • Assistance for homebuyers
  • A loan fund for acquisitions and other related opportunities

Project Outcomes

Since 1981, the City of Seattle has invested nearly $400 M into Levy program funds.

Seattle has now funded over 12,500 affordable apartments for seniors, low- and moderate-wage workers, and formerly homeless individuals and families.

More than half of the funding for new construction and preservation is dedicated to serving households that earn less than 30% of the area median income. The homebuyer's program makes low-interest loans available to first-time homebuyers who earn less than 80% of the area median income. These loans can be used to make down payments.

In August 2016, more than 70% of Seattle voters approved a new $290 million levy.

Learn more about the levy and Seattle's housing program by clicking here.