As old housing levy expires, Seattle voters to decide on new version twice its size | KUOW News and Information

As old housing levy expires, Seattle voters to decide on new version twice its size

Jul 17, 2016

Seattle’s affordable housing levy has paid for thousands of affordable apartments over the years. But the current levy expires at the end of this year. Now voters must decide whether to approve a new housing levy that’s twice the size of the old one.


Estela Ortega works for El Centro De La Raza. That’s a nonprofit that advocates for Latinos in the area. It recently completed a housing project using money from the old housing levy. She still remembers the day they started signing up renters.

Ortega: “When we opened up our application process on February 22, over a thousand people showed up for housing. And many of those were families. And so it was heartbreaking to see so many families in need – and so we know the need is there.”

Read about the event: Want affordable housing in Seattle? Get in line (literally)

Ortega says the people she had to turn away generally end up living in cities outside of Seattle. Then they have to commute in to Seattle jobs. She says that’s how the lack of affordable housing makes traffic worse.

Glenn Singer wrote the statement against the levy in the voter’s pamphlet. He says he doesn’t trust the city with the money.

Singer: “I’m not too happy with the city’s fiscal management of the city. I just want to know where my tax dollars are going, and I just don’t think, based upon what I know, that this is a good investment. And no one has been able to change my mind on that.”

Singer says affordable housing should be paid for by developers, not property owners. 

Ballots must be postmarked by August 2.