Commerce awards $9.9 million to preserve 1,179 affordable housing units

  • September 20, 2018

Grants and loans fund work on 23 multifamily rental properties and shelter projects statewide

OLYMPIA, WA – The Washington State Department of Commerce today announced $9.9 million in grants and loans from the state’s Housing Trust Fund (HTF) for 23 housing preservation projects in communities throughout Washington. See the complete list.

The funds will preserve 1,179 multifamily rental and shelter units, 790 of which will be occupied by households earning 30 percent or less of the area median income. Estimated total cost to complete preservation work is in excess of $64 million, meaning that each state dollar invested will leverage $5.4 additional from other sources. Funding partnerships with private, public, nonprofit and community organizations will ensure completion of these projects.

“Not only does our state need new units of affordable housing and additional housing in general, we need to remember that our 30-year portfolio continues to provide safe and decent housing to our most vulnerable populations,” said Diane Klontz, Commerce assistant director for community services and housing. “But it is aging and in dire need of continuous reinvestment to keep the existing units online. We are working to make this program permanent so our most vulnerable residents will be able to stay in their homes.”

Approximately 70 percent of units currently in the Trust Fund portfolio house people with extremely low incomes and special-needs.

In the 2018 legislative session, state lawmakers allocated $10 million for competitive funding to preserve affordable housing units in the Housing Trust Fund portfolio. When the 2017-19 capital budget was enacted on Jan. 19, Commerce began the process of designing this new funding program.  On April 2, 2018 the Notice of Funding Availability was announced and applicants had until June 30, 2018 to submit an application for consideration. Commerce received 38 applications requesting approximately $14 million to preserve 1520 units of low-income housing across the state, with 867 of those units occupied by households earning 30% or below the area median income.

In selecting the 23 awards, Housing Trust Fund staff worked to align to the greatest degree possible with local priorities, city and county public funders, and with the Washington State Housing Finance Commission’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit program.

If the 2019 legislature allocates funds to the HTF, the next Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) will be posted once the capital budget is enacted. Commerce will publish additional information on its website and will distribute via email as it becomes available. Subscribe to the Housing Trust Fund mailing list.

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Contact: Penny Thomas, Commerce Media Relations, 206-256-6106

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