Affordable Housing Production Plan

In 2006, the Office of Housing, Homeless, and Community Development convened a stakeholder workgroup with representatives from the public housing authorities, nonprofit housing developers, public and private funders, lenders, and social service providers to create the Affordable Housing Production Plan (AHPP). The AHPP contains targets for the production and preservation of affordable housing units between 2007-2017. The Executive Summary is below.

Executive Summary

Snohomish County is experiencing a strong economy, high employment rates, and a booming housing market, yet affordable housing is increasingly out of reach for many community members. By 2017, the county anticipates 74,000 households, or approximately 24%, will pay more than 30% of their income towards housing, a percentage considered unaffordable by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

For special needs populations such as persons with disabilities, persons who experience homelessness or are at-risk for homelessness, and seniors, the need for affordable housing is much greater. Some household facts are as follows:

  • 52% of all cost-burdened households in Snohomish County earning less than 30% of Area Median Income by 2017 are projected to be seniors, age 62 and older.
  • The 2008 Point in Time Count show that there are 2,154 homeless persons currently living in Snohomish County.
  • 8,500 disabled (non-elderly) households are projected to be cost-burdened by 2017 in Snohomish County.
  • The average home sales price jumped $116,500 (56%) from 2000 to 2005. (Despite the slowdown in the market, combined home sales (single-family homes and condominiums) rose by $33,275 (11%) from 2005 to April 2008.)
  • As a result, the average family income now falls 14.6% below qualifying purchasing levels whereas one year previously, the average family had 5.7% more income than needed for qualifying purchasing levels.
  • Apartment rental vacancy rates are at a low 4.8% while rents in the Snohomish/King/Pierce Counties region increased by 8% from 2007-2008. Competition for rental housing will become increasingly fierce.

Plan Strategies

To proactively address the growing need for affordable housing in our community, Snohomish County has developed this Affordable Housing Production Plan, the first of its kind in the state, which is a product of a year’s worth of work in collaboration with many community stakeholders. The plan will produce or preserve 6,025 units affordable to households below 80% Area Median Income through five strategies:

  1. Create a new local subsidy voucher program for 630 homeless households
  2. Promote and preserve home ownership for 2,100 homes
  3. Re-prioritize the ratio of funds allocated to new construction versus acquisition / rehabilitation to add a total of 3,295 bricks and mortar new units
  4. Prioritize permanent housing for households earning at or below 30% of Area Median Income (AMI), special needs population groups, and preservation of existing affordable housing units, especially rental units at risk of conversion to market rates and owner-occupied units at risk of foreclosure
  5. Build community capacity to develop affordable housing through enhanced public / private partnerships, education, increased support, and technical assistance