Recently, the Mayor and his staff have said that the City cannot allocate the $160 million in Real Estate Excise Tax (REET) funding that was previously attached to the development of a new North Police Precinct building to affordable housing. They’re wrong. On September 22, 2016, the Legislative Department’s Central Staff published a memo (summary here) which explains, at length, how this funding could be used by the City to fund the development of affordable housing.
It goes on to describes various constraints on the uses of REET funding, and outlines an approach that would make REET funding available for affordable housing while satisfying those constraints. In short, it confirms that,
“the City could amend its financial policies to employ REET as a substitute for other more flexible funding sources and then use those flexible fund sources to pay for affordable housing.”
I encourage all concerned to read the full memo, and then reach out to my office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-684-8016 to discuss how we can continue to build our movement to use this funding to build 1,000 affordable homes in Seattle.
This is what elected officials are supposed to be doing: trying their very best to address the urgent needs of working people.