Affordable Housing Fund
Funds available for construction, acquisition and rehabilitation of multifamily rental housing
The City of Vancouver is now accepting applications for projects seeking Affordable Housing Funds for construction, acquisition and rehabilitation of multifamily rental housing. View the 2017 application guidelines and apply online using the ZoomGrants link above. Nonprofit agencies, for-profit developers, and owners of multifamily rental properties may apply. Applications will be accepted through 5 p.m. on Monday, May 15, 2017.
April 11, 2017 affordable housing development forum
On April 11, 2017, local and statewide funders came together in downtown Vancouver for Bring Vancouver Home: Tools for Building Multifamily Housing. Presenters discussed available financing and opportunities to leverage the City's Affordable Housing Fund to increase the city's supply of affordable multifamily housing. View the event agenda and presentations for more information.
- Peggy Sheehan, City of Vancouver
- Susan Duren, Washington Community Reinvestment Association
- Judith Olsen, Impact Capital
- Jennifer Ernst, Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines
About the fund
On Nov. 8, 2016, Vancouver voters approved Proposition 1, establishing an Affordable Housing Fund for very low income families and seniors within the city who earn 50 percent or less of the area median income. The Administrative and Financial Plan describes funding priorities and anticipated program allocations.
Where does the funding come from?
Voter approval of the proposition grants the City of Vancouver the ability to levy a property tax of up to $.36 per $1,000 of assessed home value for the purpose of buying, building and preserving low-income rental housing and preventing homelessness through rental assistance and housing services.
The new property tax will be collected starting in 2017. It will be paid by both residential and commercial property owners and will be capped at $6 million per year for seven years.
For 2017, the estimated cost to the owner of a home valued at $250,000 is an extra $7.50 a month, or $90 a year.
Seniors age 61 and older and people with disabilities who earn less than $40,000 a year are eligible for a property tax exemption and will not be affected by this levy.
After seven years, the Vancouver City Council has the option of asking voters to extend the program, or they can let it expire.
Why is this fund needed?
The Vancouver City Council voted to place this proposition on the November 2016 ballot in response to the growing affordable housing crisis within the city. In the last five years, Vancouver has seen rents rise over 38 percent, while average incomes have only grown 3.1 percent.
Half of all very low income renters in Vancouver are spending more than half their income on housing. This includes 1,800 seniors on fixed incomes. The availability of rental housing within Vancouver is also one of the lowest in the country, near 2 percent.
How will the money be spent?
All of the revenue collected will be used to directly support very low income families and seniors in Vancouver. Below is an estimate on the planned spending.
- 67 percent of the funding will be used to build and preserve an estimated 790 affordable homes
- 25 percent of the funding will be used to provide rental assistance vouchers and services for very low income individuals and families experiencing homelessness or at risk of eviction
- 5 percent of the funding will be used to build transitional housing or provide shelter as people move from living on the streets into permanent homes
- The remaining 3 percent can be used to pay for implementation and administrative costs of managing the fund