Operating and Maintenance Funds

The Department of Commerce administers two programs that fund building operations and regular maintenance. The “traditional” Operating & Maintenance (OM) program awards up to $50,000 per year to qualifying multifamily housing projects that are part of the Washington State Housing Trust Fund portfolio.

In 2018, the Legislature appropriated funds for a new Permanent Supportive Housing Operating, Maintenance, and Services (PSH-OMS) program that provides “gap” operating and maintenance funding for units of permanent supportive housing where housing operations have a gap in operating revenue. PSH-OMS also includes funding for tenancy-supporting services for the tenants of such units without any other services funding.

Permanent Supportive Housing Operating, Maintenance and Services Program (PSH-OMS)

The Permanent Supportive Housing Operating, Maintenance, and Services Program (PSH-OMS) program is funded by Legislative appropriations to provide supplemental revenue to multifamily housing projects that contain units of permanent supportive housing, as defined in RCW 36.70A.030 (31).  Commerce administers approximately $47 million per year under this program, and currently provides needed funding for 160 distinct housing projects across Washington that received capital funding from Washington’s Housing Trust Fund, or some other public capital funding source.

The PSH-OMS program reimburses project owners for traditional operating and maintenance expenses, as well as the cost of providing certain supportive services to residents residing in permanent supportive housing units.

As defined in RCW 36.70A.030 (16), permanent supportive housing (PSH) is subsidized, leased housing with no limit on length of stay that prioritizes people who need comprehensive support services to retain tenancy. PSH utilizes admissions practices to use lower barriers to entry than would be typical for other subsidized or unsubsidized rental housing, especially related to rental history, criminal history, and behaviors resulting from untreated or undertreated health issues.

Permanent supportive housing is paired with on-site or off-site voluntary services designed to support a person living with a complex and disabling behavioral health or physical health condition who was experiencing homelessness or was at imminent risk of homelessness prior to moving into housing. This pairing allows the person to retain their housing and be successful tenant in a housing arrangement, improve the resident’s health status, and connect the resident with community-based health care, treatment, and/or employment services. Permanent supportive housing is subject to all of the rights and responsibilities defined in the Residential Landlord-Tenant Act (chapter 59.18 RCW).

Operations & Maintenance Program (OM)

The Operating and Maintenance (OM) program provides operating assistance to multifamily rental housing projects serving extremely low-income households. Extremely low income is defined as being at or below 30 percent of the area median income at a project location.


Funds are for housing projects whose residents’ incomes are so low that the projects would otherwise be unable to cover basic operating costs such as heat, light, and routine maintenance.

Funding comes from the Affordable Housing for All Surcharge, a fee charged at the County level when recording a legal document. The surcharge was created by law in 2002 (SHB 2060), then named the Affordable Housing for All Surcharge in 2007 (HB 1359). Because funds are tied to a variable source of revenue, they are not always available for new awards – be sure to check with staff before including O&M in any application for HTF funds.

Eligible Project Types

  • Multifamily rental housing
  • Seasonal and year round housing for farmworkers
  • Transitional housing

NOTE: Funding is restricted to projects in the Housing Trust Fund (HTF) portfolio that are in workout and to projects newly applying for regular HTF funding.

Length of Availability

Projects are awarded funding through short or long-term commitments (5 or up to 20 years) and are renewed yearly.

If you already have an OM commitment and have questions, please contact your HTF Portfolio Manager directly

Program Guidelines

Over the last two years, we have been updating programmatic and administrative guidance for these two programs. We have removed the HTF-O&M program from the HTF Handbook (previously Chapter 6 of the handbook).

In its place, we have developed standalone guidelines documents, creating more consistency between cost-reimbursement contracts for operations and maintenance expenditures.

How to give input
We will provide an overview of the new documents, background and highlights of significant administrative or programmatic changes to the guidelines in a virtual public meeting on Zoom, and you may submit written comments online.

  • Public review meeting: June 13, 2024, 10-11:30 a.m.
    Pre-register for public review. (Zoom meeting)
    You will receive an email with instructions on joining the meeting after registering.
  • Submit comments using this SmartSheet form