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Proposition 3 – Affordable Housing Levy – Passes

February 14, 2023

To address the growing need of affordable housing in Vancouver, voters approved Proposition 3. View election results.

Thank you voters! Because of you we can assist 2,500 households with rent assistance and housing services, help 150 households with home ownership, preserve or construct 2,400 affordable units and support 550 shelter beds with this levy.

“The need for affordable housing continues to grow in our community. By approving this levy, voters have said they want us to continue our work to address affordable housing and homelessness in Vancouver,” said Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle. “I want to express my appreciation to Vancouver voters, thank you for supporting this critical work.”

What is the need for affordable housing in Vancouver?

The need for affordable housing continues to grow in Vancouver. A recent study produced by ECONorthwest for the City, found that an average of 1,600 single and multifamily housing units are built each year but as Vancouver grows, housing stock is not keeping pace with the city’s growth. More than 2,500 new units per year would need to be built to close the community’s housing gap within 10 years, including 750 affordable housing units for households earning 80 percent or less of area median income.

What will Proposition 3 pay for?

The replacement levy, if approved, is projected to assist 2,500 households with rent assistance and housing services, help 150 households with home ownership, preserve or construct 2,400 affordable units, and support 550 shelter beds over the life of the levy.

How much will Proposition 3 raise?

The proposed levy replacement would raise $10 million annually, totaling $100 million over a period of 10 years starting in 2024.

How much will Proposition 3 cost?

At an estimated rate of $0.30 per $1,000 of assessed value, a home assessed at $500,000 this would be approximately $150 annually for a home valued at $500,000, or $12.50 per month. As the city grows, the levy rate per property goes down.

Is this a new tax?

No, this will replace an expiring affordable housing levy and provide funding at increased levels. The proposed levy would start in 2024, after the existing AHF levy expires at the end of 2023.

Are there any exemptions for property owners?

Yes, Washington State law provides two tax benefit programs for senior citizens and individuals who are disabled: property tax exemptions and property tax deferrals. For more information on qualifications, please contact the Clark County Assessor’s Office.

What is the Affordable Housing Fund?

The Affordable Housing Fund (AHF) was created in 2016 to invest in projects providing permanently affordable housing to very low-income households. The Fund was established through a voter-approved property tax levy that authorizes the City to collect $6 million per year from 2017 to 2023. The City anticipates committing all $42 million available under the current levy by the end of 2023.

Over the lifetime of the current levy, 1,064 units of affordable housing have been produced or preserved with support from the Affordable Housing Fund, 1,654 households have received rental assistance and services to prevent homelessness, and 405 temporary shelter beds have been created or supported with operating costs, including two Safe Stay Communities that have successfully transitioned unhoused residents to permanent housing. Funding generated in the final year of this levy has been allocated to housing production and preservation as well as ongoing rental assistance programs and temporary shelter for people who are homeless.

What is the Affordable Housing Sales Tax?

The Affordable Housing Sales Tax (AHST) is a 0.1% addition to local sales tax that was implemented by the Vancouver City Council in November, 2020 to provide direct services to low income households experiencing or at risk for homelessness. This tax, which is authorized under Washington State law, has been used by the City of Vancouver to fund the City’s homeless crisis response activities, including the Safe Stay Communities and Safe Park sites, and is a complementary source of funding to the Affordable Housing Fund, which primarily funds the construction and preservation of shelter beds and permanent affordable housing

View the AHST Fact Sheet for more information on the Affordable Housing Sales Tax, including a summary of revenues and expenditures since 2021.