This is the second article in the Build Back Better Benefits series that highlights how the funds targeted to public housing in the Build Back Better legislation will benefit local communities. The first article in the series focused on Baltimore. You can read it here.
The funds included in the Build Back Better (BBB) bill, when also matched with a 20-year extension of MTW agencies’ contracts, would provide substantial impacts for Seattle through increased affordable housing and upgraded and enduring communities that are healthy, safe, and financially viable.
Investing in the Public Housing Capital Fund would allow the Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) to address a backlog of capital needs. Twenty-two properties would benefit from elevator modernizations while twenty-five properties would benefit from exterior modernizations including roofing, windows, and siding. Up to 5,770 units could be preserved with funds contained in the BBB bill. Well-maintained and safer living conditions can lead to the improved mental and physical health of more than 10,000 residents living in SHA properties.
BBB funds could also help transform local neighborhoods and improve life outcomes. One example is the current redevelopment of Northgate Commons, an 8.5-acre residential site. BBB funds will help SHA to redevelop the property into a vibrant, diverse, mixed-income development that will serve low- and middle-income families. The site is close to a new regional transit hub, including a new light rail station serving the Puget Sound region. It also has easy access to Interstate 5 and a rich array of services for area residents. Northgate Commons is in a high opportunity neighborhood, which has been shown to lead to better life outcomes for children raised in those communities.
BBB funds will also provide a significant economic impact for Seattle. The Northgate Commons project alone will generate up to $500 million in constructions jobs and include priorities for hiring women, minority business enterprises, and low-income workers.
CLPHA urges Congress to quickly pass BBB to help make transformations like these possible in communities like Seattle.