Seattle HA Seeking Partners to Provide Low-Income Housing

August 10, 2009
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When the Seattle Housing Authority redeveloped several communities in the city (New Holly, Rainier Vista, and High Point), low-income units became “de-concentrated” and spread out across Seattle. Early in the process, the Seattle HA committed to replacing all of the low-income units that were demolished through those redevelopments. Now, through
a notice of funding availability (NOFA), the city and the HA are soliciting proposals for use of these 50 project-based vouchers by nonprofit housing developers. Details of the NOFA are available on Seattle’s Office of Housing Website.

This offering of vouchers is designated to subsidize replacement housing for units that were demolished during the redevelopment of one of the communities. Subsidies will support an inventory of housing units that contain two or more bedrooms, and/or serve elderly or disabled households with on-site supportive services. The units must be designated for households with incomes of 30 percent of less of area median income.

Housing developers applying for the voucher must be committed to keeping the housing unit in its inventory and available for rent to low-income residents for at least 40 years. Preference will be given to mixed-income projects located in neighborhoods that do not already have a high percentage of households subsidized with vouchers.

Because the voucher subsidy is from HUD, the project will need to undergo a review to determine if any other federal funds were involved in the original financing of the project. Funding sources requiring this “subsidy layering” review include low-income housing tax credits, tax-exempt bonds, HOME funds, and McKinney Supportive Housing Funds that provide funding to house homeless people. The use of other federal funds does not automatically exclude the project from eligibility for the voucher. However, voucher subsidy may not duplicate other rental subsidy that the organization is already receiving.

In order to be eligible for these vouchers, housing units must pass inspection by a Seattle HA inspector who will insure that the units meet federal housing quality standards.

Lisa Cipollone-Wolters, director of rental assistance and housing advocacy, noted that: “These vouchers are part of the Housing Authority’s commitment to maintain and increase the city’s stock of low-income housing.”