2023 Seattle Housing Levy Renewal
Seattle should be a place where everyone can afford to live. The 2023 Seattle Housing Levy will help us meet the urgent needs of our community now—and prepare for generations to come. Learn more below and join us to take action for homes!
What is the Seattle Housing Levy?
The Seattle Housing Levy provides dedicated funding for affordable housing in Seattle. With a history spanning nearly 40 years, the Housing Levy is a proven tool to create and preserve affordable housing, expand and support homeownership, prevent homelessness, and provide services.
Endorse the Levy & Campaign
Your organization can make a public statement to support the Seattle Housing Levy. We encourage early endorsements.
Later this year, we are looking for endorsements for the YES for Homes Campaign to support the Housing Levy ballot measure in the November Election.
Learn more about the Seattle Housing Levy, the 2023 renewal, and more by reading on, and by visiting the Seattle Office of Housing website. You can also download our 2023 Seattle Housing Levy Renewal Overview.
Seattle Housing Levy overview
Since 1986, the Housing Levy has been the cornerstone of funding affordable housing construction and operations in Seattle. Seattle residents have consistently supported this critical resource—the most recent Housing Levy renewal in 2016 was approved by over 70% of voters. Levy funds work with other local, state, and federal funds to address needs across the entire affordable housing continuum, and have created over 12,000 affordable homes over the last forty years.
The current Housing Levy is set to expire at the end of 2023. On March 30, 2023, Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell announced his proposal for a $970 million dollar Housing Levy renewal. If passed by Seattle City Council, the Housing Levy renewal would go to voters for approval in November 2023.
Why renew the Seattle Housing Levy
The Housing Development Consortium stands with our members and partners in strong support of the Seattle Housing Levy renewal at $970 million. This renewal scales a proven tool to meet the urgent demands of the moment—to address the housing crisis by creating more than 3,000 homes affordable to our lowest income neighbors.
Dramatic increases in housing costs impact everyone in our community, but the burdens fall most heavily on the most marginalized people. The need for affordable homes has been exacerbated by inflation and the lingering effects of the pandemic.
By creating safe, stable, affordable housing, the Levy effectively advances housing justice and racial equity. Over half of all residents of Levy-funded homes are people of color. The Housing Levy gives people from all walks of life the chance to find an affordable home in Seattle.
Homes are foundational for individual and community health, safety, and resilience. The Housing Levy is our single best tool for investing in the permanent, affordable housing Seattle so desperately needs.
What the 2023 Housing Levy will fund
The 2023 Seattle Housing Levy funds a broad range of affordable housing programs that fall into one of five categories (for more details on production goals and income levels, see our 2023 Seattle Housing Levy Renewal Overview.
- Rental Production and Preservation: Produce and preserve 3,500 new affordable homes for low-income households and reinvest in existing affordable housing.
- Operating, Maintenance, and Services: Help 1,150 formerly homeless residents and people with service needs live in stable, supportive homes, through operations funding for permanent supportive housing.
- Homeownership: Create and maintain 360 affordable homeownership opportunities, through new development, foreclosure prevention assistance, home purchase loan assistance, and home repair grants.
- Prevention and Housing Stabilization: Stabilize 4,500 individuals and families at risk of eviction and homelessness through rent assistance and case management.
- Acquisition and Preservation: Use uncommitted Levy funds to back short-term loans to purchase buildings and land for affordable housing.
Timeline of Housing Levy Renewal
The Mayor’s proposal for the Seattle Housing Levy renewal now goes before the Seattle City Council Select Committee for consideration from April through June 2023. Their schedule includes two public hearings on April 19 and May 31 (see full schedule). After City Council votes on final Housing Levy legislation in June, the Levy goes to voters via ballot in November 2023.
The Mayor’s proposal was informed by 11 months of community and stakeholder engagement. HDC and our members judiciously shaped the proposal through the 20-member Technical Advisory Committee, comprised of subject matter experts, private and non-profit housing developers, service providers, labor representatives, and public housing and homelessness agencies.