On behalf of over 2,000 local real estate professionals, the Clark County Association of REALTORS® supports the renewal of Vancouver’s affordable housing levy outlined in Proposition 3, which will be on the ballot for the February 14th special election. With an annual levy of $10 million over 10 years, coupled with state and federal dollars matching ($8:$1) the levy renewal has the potential to make a significant positive impact in our community. Vancouver, and the state as a whole needs more affordable housing for our low income and very low-income residents. This levy facilitates public and private partnerships that can move the needle on housing production in our community.
As an organization interested in property rights and all costs associated, we do understand this levy represents an increase in property taxes for the residents of Vancouver. Under the previous levy, the annual cost to the average homeowner was $60 a year. Proposition 3 would cost the average homeowner $150 a year or $12.50 per month. Given the holistic view of housing in our community we believe this is a worthwhile investment that will ease the housing pressures in our city.
The previous affordable housing levy saved 1,709 households over seven years from becoming homeless through rental assistance. 473 households were prevented from becoming homeless through emergency shelter, and 1,064 affordable homes were preserved. These numbers surpassed goals initially set for the levy. In addition to and in collaboration with proposition 3, we hope the city continues to make investments in emergency shelter and the Homeless Assistance & Resources Team (HART) that help resolve issues like encampments, people in crisis, and drug addiction, which can negatively impact the business environment and quality of life throughout the city. We believe continued investments like HART and Proposition 3, will be key in finding solutions for all residents of Vancouver.