This Week in Olympia: Another Cash Grab by Non-Profit Housers
Late last week I spotted a post on Facebook that I really couldn’t believe. The non-profit housing group the Housing Development Consortium (HDC) and Futurewise are pushing to use funds generated from the Real Estate Excise Tax (REET) for affordable housing. The legislation, House Bill 1797
Consider the facts about REET and non-profit housing in Seattle.
- The City of Seattle collected about $73.5 million in 2015
- Last year two affordable housing projects opened with a total of 200 units at a price of $92 million
- Had Seattle allocated ALL of the REET funding for those projects it would have fallen short by almost $20 million
- Funds from REET go to the Cumulative Reserve Fund to pay for capital infrastructure
- Where would those infrastructure projects get funding from after they’re diverted to expensive subsidized housing?
- One of the biggest demands among angry neighbors is impact fees in Seattle, something that we have argued is not needed because lots of infrastructure is paid for with CRF.
The 2017-2018 Proposed Budget appropriates $96.1 million from the Cumulative Reserve Subfund (CRS) in 2017 and $80.6 million in 2018 with approximately 80% of those appropriations backed by the two REET funds. Individual projects and programs supported by CRS resources are described in the departmental sections of this document and in the 2017-2022 Proposed Capital Improvement Program (CIP). A supporting summary schedule provides the amounts for the various City departments utilizing these resources.