A Historic Win – Renewal of the Seattle Housing Levy

Yesterday’s election delivered a major win for affordable housing in Seattle—the resounding passage of the 2023 Seattle Housing Levy renewal by over 66%.  This not only demonstrates the community’s commitment to addressing the pressing issue of affordable housing but also signifies a significant step towards creating a more equitable and inclusive city.

The Seattle area has grappled with a severe affordable housing crisis for years, with rising rents and limited housing options affecting everyone but having the most dire impacts on our most vulnerable neighbors.

The passage of this expanded Housing Levy is a pivotal win for affordable housing. It showcases Seattle voters’ collective resolve to address the housing crisis and provides critical funding to expand and preserve affordable homes for those in need. The Housing Levy has been Seattle’s foundational tool for affordable housing for nearly 40 years, with past investments creating over 12,000 affordable homes across Seattle.

The 2023 Housing Levy will accelerate and leverage investments so that more low-income residents, including families, people with disabilities, and seniors, can affordably live here, now and into the future. It will generate $970 million over the next seven years, with funds serving housing needs across the entire income continuum.

The 2023 Housing Levy will create and preserve over 3,000 new affordable rental homes of low-wage workers, sustain supportive housing for people exiting homelessness, build affordable homeownership options, and stabilize over 4,500 households at risk of eviction and homelessness through rental assistance and services. These funds will support low-income families, seniors, veterans, and individuals facing housing insecurity. It will support rapid rehousing programs, initiatives focused on supportive housing, and vital services for individuals experiencing homelessness. This targeted approach aims to provide stability and long-term solutions for those in need.

The passage of the Seattle Housing Levy is the result of collaborative efforts by community organizations, housing advocates, and dedicated citizens. It represents the most broad and diverse coalition in the history of the levy, securing unanimous support from major businesses, labor organizations, housing advocates, philanthropy, and community groups. The Housing Development Consortium (HDC) played a pivotal leadership role in garnering support and working alongside partners to secure this important victory, from shaping the proposal through robust stakeholder outreach to voter mobilization with the membership and allies.

“We take pride in the achievements we’ve accomplished together. Thanks to your dedication, the housing levy will maintain its strong track record of offering thousands of affordable housing options. While we celebrate this significant achievement, it is important to recognize there is still much work to be done. The passage of the Seattle Housing Levy must serve as a catalyst for further efforts, inspiring innovative strategies, engaging stakeholders, and expanding affordable housing funding at all levels of government.”

Patience Malaba, HDC Executive Director

As we move forward, let’s continue working together, leveraging this momentum and passion to create a future where affordable housing is accessible to all. Together, we can build a more equitable and inclusive Seattle and King County.