The city of Vancouver, Washington, is now accepting applications from developers for the first year of Affordable Housing Fund grants. The city estimates it will raise about $6 million annually, with nearly $4 million going to the construction of new affordable rentals.
That fund was created when Vancouver voters approved Proposition 1 last November. It allows the city to levy a property tax for building and preserving affordable rental housing.
“We look at using the dollars for construction as the most important component of the fund because then we’ll have additional housing,” said Peggy Sheehan, the city’s Community Development Program Manager. “And if folks use the city money they have to keep the housing affordable for 20 years.”
The city plans to hold an affordable housing forum in April and expects the Vancouver City Council to announce the selected projects this summer. The remaining funds will be used for rental assistance and renovating existing homeless shelters.