More than $4.2 million will soon go toward four Vancouver organizations to support the city’s affordable housing and homelessness initiatives.
On Monday, the Vancouver City Council approved a plan for the 2023-24 Affordable Housing Fund, which is funded by a tax levy created in 2016. In October, organizations submitted proposals for funding. City staff selected four out of five proposals, which will receive a total of $4.23 million.
“With this local funding, the city’s main objectives are to create and preserve affordable housing for residents earning 50 percent of the area median income or less, promote housing choice, contribute to efforts to end homelessness, collaborate with non-and for-profit developers and to leverage city investments with other funding sources,” a city dashboard states.
The biggest award was to the Council for the Homeless, which received $150,000 for its motel voucher program and $3.5 million for consortium rental assistance over two years.
The other project awards are $179,500 for YWCA Clark County for emergency motel vouchers and $400,500 to Share-Women’s Housing and Transition Shelter over two years.
The awards will help Vancouver provide services and shelter to more than 1,237 households experiencing or at risk of homelessness, according to a city report.
This year marks the last year of the 2017-2023 Affordable Housing Fund plan, which will be replaced by a higher levy next year after Vancouver voters passed Proposition 3 in February. All leftover funds since 2016 are included in this year’s funding.
Currently, the levy is at 18 cents per $1,000 in assessed property value, which costs Vancouver homeowners roughly $90 per year. Next year, the levy will rise to 30 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.
“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 in a press release following the election. “I want to express my appreciation to Vancouver voters. Thank you for supporting this critical work.”
Since its inception in 2016, the Affordable Housing Fund has awarded nearly $36 million to boost affordable housing programs, according to a city report.