Creating housing for veterans, homeless families and others in need, on Friday, King County Executive Dow Constantine announced approximately $10.6 million in awards for affordable housing development across the county.
“This funding will boost to the local economy and create construction jobs, while providing safe and affordable housing that will help hundreds of people who have been hit hard by the recession,” said Constantine, who also serves as co-chair of the Committee to End Homelessness in King County Governing Board.
Capital dollars of approximately $10.6 million were awarded to local housing projects to create and preserve approximately 607 units of affordable rental housing. Of these, about 412 new units of rental housing and up to 11 new affordable ownership opportunities will be created. Of the new rental units, about 220 will house people who are homeless, chronically homeless or at risk of homelessness, including about 45 units set aside for homeless veterans and their families.
Awards were also granted to three previously funded projects that requested additional funding to achieve or make progress towards completion. These amendment awards represent 184 units of affordable housing.
In addition to helping low-income and homeless households, the production of affordable housing also helps the local economy. According to the National Association of Home Builders, every 100 units of multifamily housing developed generates approximately 116 jobs.
Projects awarded funding participated in a competitive request for proposal (RFP) processes conducted in summer/fall 2011. The awards respond to the most acute needs in the region, including homeless households, while also addressing other pressing needs for affordable housing throughout the county’s sub-regions.
Funding for the affordable housing capital RFP comes from a variety of federal and local sources. Local fund sources include the voter-approved Veterans and Human Services Levy; the Regional Affordable Housing Program, funded by a state-authorized surcharge on document recording fees; 2331 Homeless Housing Act revenues, funded from another state-authorized surcharge on document recording fees specifically for the implementation of plans to end homelessness; and other local sources, including Housing Innovations for Persons with Developmental Disabilities funds and proceeds from the Mental Illness and Drug Dependency dedicated sales tax revenues. Federal contributions for housing capital come to King County from the HOME Investment Partnerships Program.
Each year, public and private funders in King County collaborate to streamline the grant making process and join together to coordinate award decisions. Instead of asking agencies to submit multiple applications at different times during the year, King County housing development funders coordinate the timing, materials and process so that agencies can attend joint funder pre-application meetings and submit a common application for housing capital.