New Seattle Loan Fund Finances Affordable Housing

As excitement builds around Seattle's voter-approved transit expansion plan, the REDI Fund will preserve space for low and middle-income residents in new transit-oriented developments.
December 26, 2016, 9am PST | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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Oran Viriyincy

Following the passage of Seattle's Proposition 1 in November, opportunities for transit-oriented development abound. So does private money and the potential for a glut of luxury housing. Far in advance of the transit, Oscar Perry Abello writes, "luxury developers — who typically have easier access to cash — buy up lots and buildings, which can lead to rising rents and displacement of longtime residents."

To help nonprofit and affordable housing developers compete, "Seattle joined with public and private partners from the region and beyond [...] to launch the Regional Equitable Development Initiative (REDI) Fund, a $21 million revolving loan fund to provide early low-cost financing for acquisition of transit-accessible property to build housing for low-income, working families."

Housing advocacy nonprofit Enterprise Community Partners designed the fund, providing $6.5 million toward its initial capital. The REDI Fund mandates that properties acquired with its financing will at minimum "build or preserve a share of homes affordable to households under 80 percent area median income (AMI), and 25 percent of the homes built or preserved using the fund will be affordable to households under 50 percent AMI. (In 2015, Seattle's AMI was $89,600.)"

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Published on Wednesday, December 14, 2016 in Next City
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