Pressure mounts for more low-income housing tax credits

With nearly 70,000 new low-income housing units at stake, local leaders are asking Congress for a big boost in the new national infrastructure plan.

One example is the 80 new apartments under construction by the Chief Seattle Club at 2nd and Yesler in Seattle.

The focus will be on Native Americans who need housing to get off the streets. Not so long ago they included Jolene Neiss.

“It was hard do to winter, it would be like so cold cause it was wet cold,” she said.

Nearly half the cost of construction will come from federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit.

“When Congress returns next week to talk about infrastructure, we want affordable housing to be on the table,” said Senator Maria Cantwell.

Sen. Cantwell and Representative Suzan DelBene the new infrastructure bill in Congress to increase money for the tax credits by 50 percent. 

“Our recent bipartisan agreement brokered by the White House is focused on projects like roads, bridges water and airports we need to do more and make sure that we include affordable housing,” DelBene said.

President Biden and the bipartisan group of senators leading the infrastructure plan are hearing from local leaders

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said, “We believe in Seattle in the power that housing has to determine all other aspects of our life.”

Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodard said, “It has been an indispensable tool for building new spaces that are affordable and accessible.

“It’s a vitally important tool that we need with all the other tools to get people in shelter,” said Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers.

Cantwell and DelBene say their plan would at $30 billion to the infrastructure plan but the benefits will be spread across the country so there is bipartisan support.

Jolene Neiss now has a home, so she knows what the new apartments will mean to others. “It would bring hope, it would bring comfort, it would bring comfort to your mind emotionally.”