Home Finance 2023 Seattle Budget Proposal Invests $228MM in Multifamily Housing

2023 Seattle Budget Proposal Invests $228MM in Multifamily Housing

Seattle City Council, King County Regional Homeless Authority, Seattle
Courtesy of Seattle Mayor’s Office

By Kate Snyder

With an unprecedented, nearly quarter of a billion dollar investment in affordable housing as part of Seattle’s 2023-2024 budget, officials hope to make a difference in the city’s homelessess and housing crisis.

Earlier this week, Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell delivered his first budget address and transmitted his 2023-2024 Proposed Budget to the Seattle City Council, according to an announcement from the City. This is the first biennial budget since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“After two very long pandemic years, today we stand at a pivotal moment in our city’s history. It’s at this intersection of change and challenge where we know the investments we make in this One Seattle budget proposal can chart Seattle’s course for years to come,” Harrell said. “Our guiding principle is how best to meet the urgent needs of our communities and empower our employees to deliver essential services. I’m proud to say that we’re able to propose a budget that sustains the high-quality city services our residents expect, protects critical staffing, and makes smart funding decisions to address community priorities including safety, homelessness, access to opportunity and more.”

Responding to a $140 million revenue gap, the mayor and other officials believe the current budget proposal focuses on addressing the urgent needs of Seattle’s communities, including millions in affordable housing.

The city plans to invest $228 million in multifamily housing with an additional $17 million in homeownership, sustainability and weatherization, according to the City’s announcement. The city also announced $88 million for the King County Regional Homeless Authority, which includes $2.2 million to sustain existing homelessness programs and services that were previously funded with one-time funding, $2.4 million for new tiny home villages and $5 million for new safe parking lots to serve people living in vehicles.

“This is the largest one-year investment of this kind in City history,” he said about the investment in housing. “This will create hundreds of units of permanently affordable housing and advance affordable homeownership opportunities. It will tackle homelessness and displacement at their root.”

Seattle is also allocating $16.6 million for city-managed homeless programs, $2.4 million for expanded outreach support to connect unsheltered people sleeping in public spaces to shelter and housing and $1.1 million for contract oversight and administration.

Making progress on the homelessness crisis is inextricably linked to access to housing – both a source of and a solution to homelessness, the mayor’s office believes. In addition to historic

investments in housing, the budget includes investments aimed at sustaining and expanding

shelter capacity – ensuring that the city will meet its goal to identify 2,000 new units and providing a wider array of options in spaces and support for people experiencing homelessness.

“Our administration refuses to be complacent on homelessness,” Harrell said. “It is inhumane for people to live without sanitation, heat and running water. Walking the streets of Seattle, the need for compassionate and urgent action is obvious. While the issue of homelessness is too significant for any one city to solve on its own, we are committed to the partnerships needed to move forward.”