Housing committee forms to implement affordable housing recommendations

Housing committee forms to implement affordable housing recommendations

The Affordable Housing Committee is made up of government and private organizations in King County.

Elected officials and private companies have formed a committee to examine ways to address a lack of affordable housing in King County following the release of a task force report late last year.

The Affordable Housing Committee held its first meeting on June 21 . The meeting was attended by local government leaders as well as representatives from corporations like Microsoft and Puget Sound Sage. The committee is chartered for at least five years and will develop ways to create, preserve and enhance affordable and low-income housing in the county.

“There’s 100,000 families, working people, who are one bad incident, one broken down car, one injury away from losing their homes,” said committee member and King County Councilmember Claudia Balducci.

The committee will be working along several broad guidelines which range from increasing collaboration between local and regional organizations, preserving 44,000 units of affordable housing over the next five years, developing policies to ensure affordable housing near transit centers, supporting tenant protections and anti-displacement measures and encouraging housing growth and community outreach.

As outlined in the original report, the county needed 156,000 affordable homes in 2017 and an additional 244,000 affordable homes by 2040. The greatest need is housing for those earning 30 percent or less of the area median income (AMI).

“It’s also hard to develop housing at that level — it takes a lot of subsidy,” Balducci said.

The overarching goal of the committee is to eliminate cost burden, or spending more than one-third of a family’s income on housing, for those earning 80 percent below the AMI. Households making below 50 percent of the AMI will be a priority for the committee.

While much of the inaugural meeting was spent covering background information, members of the committee also wrote down their top priorities to be discussed at the next meeting on July 30. Following that meeting, the committee will meet every two months.

Another organization called the Housing Interjurisdictional Team will be created with up to 24 staff representing the county, cities, housing and transit agencies and community stakeholders which will provide information and local knowledge to the committee. While it is a public-private endeavor, committee business is subject to public disclosure requests and members were asked to use or copy their official county email when discussing relevant information.

City representatives at the meeting were also asked to return to their municipalities and see if local governments were interested in utilizing the recently approved HB 1406. It provides municipalities with a state sales tax credit to encourage investments in affordable and supportive housing. A portion of the sales taxes will be retained or a local levy can be created to fund affordable and supportive housing for people at or below 60 percent of the county median income.

Larger cities and counties can only spend funds on affordable and supportive housing while cities with populations less than 100,000 can additionally use those funds for rental assistance. Total revenue for all jurisdictions in the county, except Seattle, is projected to be more than $5.3 million.

Cities interested in using the new law have to adopt a resolution of intent by Jan. 28, 2020, and pass a full ordinance and impose a tax by the end of July 2020.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bellevuereporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bellevuereporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

In Phase 2 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s reopening plan, which was announced Jan. 28, restaurants can reopen at a maximum 25% capacity and a limit of six people per table. Inslee recently announced all counties will be staying in Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan for the next several weeks. Pictured: People enjoy outdoor dining last summer in downtown Kent. Courtesy photo
Inslee: All of Washington to stay in Phase 2 for a few weeks

The governor issued a weekslong pause on regions moving backward, but has yet to outline a Phase 3.

Entrance to the Tukwila Library branch of the King County Library System. File photo
King County libraries will reopen in some cities for in-person services

Fall City, Kent libraries among six selected for partial reopening.

Mock-up of the future Dick’s Drive-In (photo credit: Dick’s Drive-in)
New Dick’s Drive-In location announced for Bellevue

The famous Seattle hamburger company said they used customer input to decide new location.

In a zipper merge, cars continue in their lanes and then take turns at the point where the lanes meet. (Koenb via Wikimedia Commons)
Do Washington drivers need to learn the zipper merge?

Legislators propose requiring zipper merge instruction in drivers education and in license test.

Pan-fried wontons with chili and spicy garlic sauces (photo credit: Dough Zone Dumpling House)
New Chinese dumpling house to open in downtown Bellevue

Dough Zone menu to feature soup dumplings and pan-fried wontons.

A South King Fire & Rescue firefighter places a used test swab into a secure COVID test vial on Nov. 18, 2020, at a Federal Way testing site. (Sound Publishing file photo)
Masks are still king in combating new COVID strains

A top UW doctor talks new strains, masks and when normal could return.

Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
Democrats look to allow noncitizens to serve on school boards

A Senate bill takes aim at a state law requiring anyone seeking elected office to be a citizen.

A CVS pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at Village Green Retirement Campus in Federal Way on Jan. 26. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
State health leader: We have a plan, we don’t have the supply

Two months after the COVID vaccine landed in Washington, many still struggle to secure their shots.

An Island Park Elementary teacher and her students hit the books on Feb. 8 in the Mercer Island School District. The single largest amount of Gov. Jay Inslee’s newly announce relief package, $668 million, will go to public elementary and secondary schools to prepare for reopening for some in-person learning and to address students’ learning loss. Courtesy photo
Inslee signs $2.2 billion COVID relief package

The federal funds will go to fight COVID, aid renters and reopen shuttered schools and businesses.

Most Read