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Jayapal, Murray, Cantwell, Smith Secure $5 Million for Affordable Housing

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and Representative Adam Smith (WA-09) are today announcing $5,000,000 in funding for the City of Seattle from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Pathways to Removing Obstacles to Housing (PRO Housing) program. 

“This funding couldn’t be more critical, as we face dual crises of homelessness and housing instability – and housing continues to be one of the largest inflationary costs families face,” said Jayapal.Since 2020, the income required to afford a home in the Seattle area is up a whopping 80 percent, and to rent a one-bedroom apartment is on average more than two thousand dollars per month. This money will help to address those issues directly, by deploying strategies that will remove barriers to building more affordable housing and addressing displacement across our community.”

“I was proud to help create this program and as Senate Appropriations Chair I fought hard to boost funding for this grant program by $15 million this year even under the tough budgetary constraints imposed by House Republicans,” said Senator Murray. “I fought for this funding because everyone deserves to have a safe place to call home and roof over their head—and we need to build more housing to make that a reality and make renting or owning a home affordable for everyone. As Chair of the Appropriations Committee, I made sure at every step of the process that Washington state would be poised to benefit in a big way from our funding bills and it’s great to see this federal investment come home to Seattle in its first ever round of funding awards.”

“Rising home prices continue to drive inflation and make it harder for working families to live in King County,” said Senator Cantwell. “This grant funding will help local communities figure out ways to build more housing supply and put renters on a path to homeownership.”

“This funding from the Biden-Harris Administration will help solve one of the most pressing challenges in our region: the cost of housing. Key to solving this challenge is increasing the supply of affordable housing, which requires us to streamline the production and preservation of housing,” said Rep. Adam Smith. “These federal dollars will not only help lower the cost of housing for individuals and families throughout our region, but will also help more people become homeowners, which remains a crucial way to build wealth. I applaud the Biden-Harris Administration for taking on the housing crisis and making strong investments across the county to help ensure that everyone can afford to buy or rent a home in their neighborhood.”

The PRO Housing program was established in the Fiscal Year 2023 government funding bills and originated in the Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development funding bill as the ‘Yes in My Backyard’ grant program, which was funded at $85 million in Fiscal Year 2023 and championed by Senator Murray and other Senate Democrat appropriators. In Fiscal Year 2024, Senator Murray secured a $15 million increase for the grant program in the funding bills she negotiated and passed into law in March. The grant program provides federal funding to identify and remove barriers to affordable housing production and preservation including, zoning designations, land use policies or regulations, gaps in development resources, inadequate infrastructure, and more.

The City of Seattle will use this funding to establish a Homeownership as Preservation program to preserve smaller multifamily affordable housing units and empower low-income residents with homeownership opportunities. It will also establish a Legacy Homeowner Program to help lower-income homeowners avoid displacement. The City of Seattle was one of 21 jurisdictions to receive a PRO Housing program grant. Applications were submitted from more than 175 communities – representing a wide variety of demographics, geographies and population sizes – across 47 States and territories. Later this year, HUD will make $100 million in additional funding available for round two of the competition thanks to the funding boost secured by Senator Murray in Fiscal Year 2024.

The Members’ letter advocating for this funding can be found HERE.