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Seattle Mandates Affordable Units, Or Payment Into Affordable Housing Fund


The Seattle City Council has passed new rules requiring apartment and condo developers to include affordable units in their projects or pay into a fund that will finance affordable development elsewhere. According to city forecasts, the measure would mean builders will include around 1,500 affordable units in their projects over the next 10 years, or pay a total of $176M to build about 2,200 new affordable units.

The measure passed 8-0. Developers will have to start complying later this year, after the council increases development capacity in place by changing local zoning to allow developers to build bigger projects, the Puget Sound Business Journal reports. City officials say 38% of Seattle households are either moderately or severely "cost burdened" by their rents. (The federal definition of cost burdened is more than 30% of income goes for rent.) More than 40,000 Seattle households are paying more than half their income in rent. [PSBJ]