(From Chuck Weinstock again)

 

You asked me to take a look at the comment raised about the "fine print".
Here is what I see.

Historically the maximum income level that can be served by Levy Funds has
been households below 50% of median income (see chart below).

Maximum Income at 50% of median
household size 1 person 2 person 3 person 4 person
annual income $27,250 31,150 35,050 38,950
hourly wage $13.10 14.98 16.85 18.36

The proposed Levy has two changes to this.

(1)The Rental Housing Preservation and Production Program now has a maximum
income level of 60% of median. The City Council set amounts intented to
serve different household income levels (59% of the funds for households
below 30% of median, 31% of the funds below 50% of median, and 10% of the
funds up to 60% of median.

Maximum incomes at 60% of median
household size 1 person 2 person 3 person 4 person
annual income $30,300 34,680 39,000 43,320
hourly wage $14.57 16.67 18.75 20.83

(2) The Neighborhood Housing Opportunity Program also is intended to produce
affordable rental housing. It has a maximum income level of 80% of median.
The City Council set 25% of the funds for households under 30% of median and
75% of the funds for households under 80% of median. This program will have
some geographic targets. The City currently says this program will
"complement other citywide programs by focusing funds primarily on
economically distressed communities (to be defined in the Administration and
Finance Plan)."

Maximum incomes at 80% of median
household size 1 person 2 person 3 person 4 person
annual income $38,100 43,500 48,950 54,400
hourly wage $18.32 20.91 23.53 26.15

Here is what I think this all means.

There is a slight change in the upper income levels for Levy funds. This
means there is at least an improvement to the financing program in terms of
addressing the objective of Miller Park in having a wider range of income
levels served in affordable housing developments. I would also note that the
increase in the median income for Seattle over the past few years also has
broadened the income group served in real terms.

There is a new program with much wider income levels served. It will be
targeted to "economically distressed communities" which is an undefined term
at this point. The first strategy for MPNA (and we would work actively with
you) would be to work for a definition that would include the Madison-Miller
Urban Village. With or without that, the policy states that the funds are
not exclusively for those areas, but rather primarily. Clearly, Miller Park
would be eligible.

So I think it is fair to say that the new Levy has new flexiblity and new
tools that better match with Miller Park's goals. There currently are some
limitations on how much of the new flexibility can be drawn upon.

Finally, another strategy could be to work to achieve broader changes to the
Administrative and Finance Plan for the Neighborhood Housing Opportunity
Fund to tie more directly to neighborhood plans especially in communities
that have affirmatively embraced other low and moderate income housing.
Miller Park, Capitol Hill and Pike Pine are the all-stars on this front.
The A&F Plan is not part of the Levy Ordinance and so can be amended by the
City Council.

I hope this is helpful.

Chuck Weinstock


Andrew asks:

The City currently says this program will "complement other citywide programs by focusing funds primarily on economically distressed communities (to be defined in the Administration and
Finance Plan)."

Doesn't sound like Miller, does it?


Andrew
Chuck replies:

Well, I think it might sound like Madison/Miller Urban Village. The
definition will be done early next year when they do the update to the
Administration and Finance Policies. I think the definition is up for
grabs. Further, that is where the funds "primarily" will be used, not
solely used.

I think the case should be made that the funds should also be available for
neighborhoods that have identified affordable housing in their neighborhood
plans and have historically embraced affordable housing efforts. This is a
political process.

Plus when you look at the new income limits for the other program there is
a much broader range of households served than used to be the case.

Chuck