Seattle's Incentive Zoning Pays Out Funding for Affordable Housing Projects

Seattle's incentive zoning program is paying dividends and funding projects. Look for 110 affordable units to be built in the Capitol Hill neighborhood by 2019.

1 minute read

January 1, 2017, 1:00 PM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray recently "announced $47 million in funding for affordable housing via the City’s optional incentive zoning program and the housing levy," reports Doug Trumm.

Seattle's incentive zoning (not to be confused with inclusionary zoning) "allows developers an extra floor above normal height limits in exchange for either the performance option of restricting some units below 80% [area media income] on site or the payment option of contributing to the City’s affordable housing fund," explains Trumm.

While the city of Seattle prepares its initial forays into mandatory inclusionary zoning with the upcoming University District rezoning, "Incentive Zoning receipts were $13 million larger than the Seattle Office of Housing anticipated." Paired with "$15 million earmarked for affordable multi-family housing from the 2009 Housing Levy," the city now has enough affordable housing funding to build 610 units. Among those 610 units are 110 affordable units to be built on a site in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, as detailed in the article.

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