Three years ago, the city told developers: You can either pay into a fund or build affordable housing units yourselves.

Listener Andrew Chinnici heard about that on KUOW and wanted to know: How is it working out?

Well, Andrew, so far there are permits for just 19 units through this fund.

The goal is for this pot of money to get 6,000 units open by 2025 — so there’s a lot of ground left to cover.

That program is part of the city’s ambitious HALA plan, the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda. This massive plan aims to have 20,000 affordable units built by 2025. Money from voter levies, federal and state financing and nonprofit groups have paid for another 3,200 units that have come on line since 2015, with 4,400 more in development.

As Seattle housing prices have soared, lower income residents have been priced out of the city. Some squeeze into ever tinier apartments, some move away and some become homeless. Politicians have vowed to add more affordable housing — but production isn’t coming close to meeting demand.

Emily Alvarado, who manages policy and equitable development for the city’s Office of Housing, said designing new buildings and obtaining construction permits is a time-consuming process.

And the mandatory part of HALA only really got going last year.

See entire story here.


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