According to Monroe’s 2015 Comprehensive Plan, nearly half of the city’s households are cost-burdened. The city currently has 415 affordable housing units available for approximately 2,075 needy households accommodating only one-fifth of Monroe’s cost-burdened population. Approximately two-thirds of the city’s residential units are comprised of single-family homes thus creating the need for alternative forms of residential development.
The city is looking for ways to stimulate development of new housing, preserve existing affordable housing, and improve the overall quality of life in the city. Addressing the affordable housing crisis is a top priority for the city and the goal is to create an inclusionary community through quality development and collaboration.
City Awarded $50,000 Grant from Commerce
In October 2019, the City of Monroe applied for a Department of Commerce grant funded through E2SHB 1923, which provided $5 million to increase residential building capacity in Washington communities to address affordable housing. Of the list of eligible activities, as defined in the bill, the City chose to adopt a housing action plan with a total funding request of $50,000. Monroe is one of 52 communities who were awarded a grant in 2019.
Community Development staff will be working on the housing action plan starting in 2020, to be completed by June 30, 2021. Public involvement will be key in this process. Stay tuned for more information on how you can be involved.
Comprehensive Plan – Housing Element
The Housing Element of the City of Monroe’s Comprehensive Plan includes policies that support affordable housing and a diverse range of housing options.
In the 2019 Regular Session, the Washington State Legislature approved, and the Governor signed Substitute House Bill 1406 which authorizes the governing body of a city of county to impose a local sales and use tax for the acquisition, construction or rehabilitation of affordable housing or supportive housing, and, if eligible for providing rental assistance to tenants. The tax must be used to assist persons whose income is at or below 60% of the city’s median income.
The city adopted Ordinance No. 025/2019 on December 10, 2019, in accordance with HB 1406. This ordinance does not impose a new tax. The tax will be credited against state sales taxes collected with the City of Monroe and will represent an additional source of funding to address housing needs in the city.