Seattle will spend more than $75 million on affordable-housing projects over the next year, Mayor Jenny Durkan said Monday.
The dollars drawn largely from property taxes and real-estate payments will help developers build about 1,200 new apartments with restricted rents and preserve another 200-plus low-rent homes.
Many onetime Seattle residents have been pushed out by rising costs, and homelessness grew in the area by more than 10 times the national average this year.
“We need affordable housing in every part of this city,” Durkan said, delivering remarks at a Northgate building that caters to low-income seniors.
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Each summer, nonprofit and other developers request housing money from the city’s Office of Housing, and each winter, the office selects a number of projects for assistance.
Some projects serve individuals, some serve families, some serve seniors and some serve people with special needs. This year, 14 projects were chosen, with locations in neighborhoods across Seattle.
For example, the Chief Seattle Club will receive several million dollars to help build 75 studio apartments in Pioneer Square for homeless and low-income individuals, with a focus on serving Native American people.
The project will be located next door to the club’s headquarters and will include both a clinic run with the Seattle Indian Health Board and a gallery where Native American artists will display and sell their work, said Colleen Echohawk, the club’s executive director.
The apartments will house individuals making no more than $35,100, with rents under $600 per month. Regionally, one in every 35 Native American people is homeless, Echohawk said. “We’ll be able to offer culturally appropriate services,” she said.
Seattle set a record last December by allocating nearly $100 million to housing projects.
Though the latest investment is smaller, a record number of new apartments will be built, according to the city. Last December’s dollars went to help developers build nearly 900 apartments and preserve 500-plus homes.
Seattle allocates money for the projects from various sources, including the city’s housing levy and the federal government.
Mandatory and voluntary payments by real-estate developers also are used. This year’s investment includes community-benefit funds from the Washington State Convention Center expansion.
The affordable-housing developers that receive money from Seattle use it in combination with other dollars from non-city sources.