The Commerce Operating and Maintenance (O&M) 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 Organizations

  • Local governments
  • Local housing authorities
  • Nonprofit community, neighborhood, state, or regional organizations
  • Federally-recognized indian tribes in the state
  • Regional support networks established under RCW 71.24

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.

Projects that receive O&M funding have several reporting requirements. Please refer to Chapter 6 in the HTF Handbook (PDF) for more details.

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 O&M commitment and have questions, please contact your HTF Portfolio Manager directly.