State survey: Most people say housing is #1 issue

State survey: Most people say housing is #1 issue

Housing costs/rents, homelessness and overall cost of living top list of most important problems facing Washington state in new survey by Department of Commerce and Puget Sound Regional Council OLYMPIA, WA — Housing and homelessness topped a list of 12 issues in a new survey that asked Washington state residents to rank their top two problems facing the state. The Department of Commerce partnered with the Puget Sound Regional Council…

State infrastructure grants support over 1,000 new units of affordable housing across Washington

State infrastructure grants support over 1,000 new units of affordable housing across Washington

Commerce awards nearly $5 million to 12 projects through Connecting Housing to Infrastructure Program OLYMPIA, WA — The Washington State Department of Commerce today announced a third round of Connecting Housing to Infrastructure Program (CHIP) grants that will help expedite construction of 1,102 affordable housing units in 12 counties statewide. The nearly $5 million in funding awarded to local governments can be used to pay for water, sewer and stormwater infrastructure…

Commerce invests additional $26.6 million to strengthen affordable housing development

Commerce invests additional $26.6 million to strengthen affordable housing development

As construction costs rise, Housing Trust Fund investments help keep multifamily projects moving forward OLYMPIA, WA — The Washington State Department of Commerce today announced it would supplement 22 multifamily affordable housing projects with an additional $26.6 million from the state Housing Trust fund. This additional funding will bridge the gap created by steep increases in construction costs and help support developers in maintaining a needed pipeline of affordable housing…

Commerce awards $1.7 million in planning grants to address housing affordability statewide

Commerce awards $1.7 million in planning grants to address housing affordability statewide

Funding will support housing strategies to increase urban residential building capacity and streamline development regulation in 28 communities across Washington state. OLYMPIA, WA – Decades of underbuilding homes at all income levels has created a supply and demand imbalance playing out today in the affordable housing and homelessness crisis in communities across Washington state. One study suggests the shortage is more than 225,000 units. To help communities address this growing…

Spokane’s Paul Trautman named chair of state Affordable Housing Advisory Board

Spokane’s Paul Trautman named chair of state Affordable Housing Advisory Board

New chair will focus on understanding trends in Washington’s rental and homeownership markets and plans to work toward a cohesive picture of housing need, availability and affordability. OLYMPIA, WA – Gov. Jay Inslee appointed Spokane senior housing developer Paul Trautman as chair of the state’s Affordable Housing Advisory Board (AHAB). Trautman will start his term with the first AHAB quarterly meeting of 2022 on March 2. “Paul’s experience and background…

Commerce awards nearly $19 million in infrastructure funding to boost affordable housing development in seven counties

Commerce awards nearly $19 million in infrastructure funding to boost affordable housing development in seven counties

Grants will fund utility connection fees and the improvements needed to connect affordable housing to municipal water and sewer systems. OLYMPIA, WA – The Washington State Department of Commerce today announced $18.6 million in funding for 16 projects that will support the development of more than 1,500 affordable housing units throughout the state. Funds will lower the effective cost of development by about $12,000 for each housing unit. “The communities…

Commerce announces historic grant round supporting dozens of affordable housing projects across the state

Commerce announces historic grant round supporting dozens of affordable housing projects across the state

Largest single award amount for grants and loans will support 40 projects in at least 16 counties OLYMPIA, WA — The Washington State Department of Commerce announced its largest ever single award amount for grants and loans that support 40 affordable housing projects in at least 16 counties across the state. The Traditional Housing Trust Fund (HTF) awards include 20 multifamily rental unit projects that will create or preserve 1,281…

New growth management grants help Washington communities design a future with housing choices affordable to all income levels

New growth management grants help Washington communities design a future with housing choices affordable to all income levels

Funding for housing action plans and transit-oriented development helps communities address years of underbuilding that left middle and lower-income residents priced out of housing as state’s population boomed. A 2020 report tagged Washington state with one of the 10 worst housing shortages in the nation, underbuilding by over a quarter of a million homes over the prior 15 years. Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies documented the nationwide housing shortage and…

Historic budget accelerates investments in helping businesses, families and local governments rebound and grow

Historic budget accelerates investments in helping businesses, families and local governments rebound and grow

As you are likely aware by now, the 2021-23 state biennial budget makes historic investments in Washington’s recovery and growth trajectory coming out of the pandemic. At Commerce, we are preparing for significant work ahead as we implement a $2.7 billion operating budget and $2.4 billion in capital funding. Our team is growing – we’re recruiting exceptional team members, so I invite you to check out and share positions currently…

Commerce releases new Evergreen Sustainable Development Standard 

Commerce releases new Evergreen Sustainable Development Standard 

Updated standard is required for all affordable housing projects seeking state capital funding OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington State Department of Commerce today released Version 4.0 of the Evergreen Sustainable Development Standard (ESDS). Compliance with the updated ESDS will be required of all affordable housing projects applying for funds from the state Housing Trust Fund in 2021. Projects that received awards from other funders in 2020, but were not fully…