« State Democratic Party PCO Training | Main | Is the Governor Tone Deaf? »

February 19, 2007

Dramatic increase of funding for affordable housing needed from state

It’s encouraging to see the increased funding in recent years for the Washington State Housing Trust Fund and the positive impact that source of funding has had on creating new affordable housing in Washington State.  Local and county governments, as well as private and non-profit funding sources, can also be given credit for their commitment to create affordable housing and for succeeding in building so many attractive buildings.  Yet the funding gap for creating affordable housing in Washington State remains enormous, and the need for affordable housing remains so great.

The state government is such a critical player in closing the funding gap for creating affordable housing.  The state can leverage much larger resources than local or county governments, and can build on the success of programs such as the Washington State Housing Trust Fund.  With larger amounts of funding at the state level, the non-profits that partner with state and local governments for funding sources will have greater resources to build badly needed affordable housing in a real estate market where land and building costs are ever more expensive.

Chuck Weinstock, Executive Director of Capitol Hill Housing explains, that even if the amount of funding for building affordable housing was doubled, we’d still only be addressing a fraction of the need.  “We’re always playing catch up with the rising costs of buying land and constructing buildings,” explains Weinstock.  He points out that, “the funds for building affordable housing have never been based on the need.”

Dramatically increasing the funding for state programs like the Washington State Housing Trust Fund will make a significant difference to address the need for affordable housing in Washington State.  Democrats have already identified funding for the trust fund as a priority, and with Democrats in the majority in Olympia the opportunity for really addressing the funding gap for creating affordable housing is possible.  Democrats can’t simply inch the housing trust fund up with small increases each session.  There must be a dramatic infusion of funding this session to really address the need to create more affordable housing.

Cross Posted on The Urban Environmentalist

Posted by EzraBasom on February 19, 2007 at 07:29 PM in Policy | Permalink

Comments

Post a comment