More Money Toward Affordable Housing

Under new legislation, Mason County has more funding available for affordable housing. A news release say Mason County is the second county in the state to pass an ordinance that allows local jurisdictions to retain a portion of the state sales tax to be used toward affordable housing. The Housing and Behavioral Health Advisory Board and the Mason County Commissioners acted quickly at early adoption as they recognize the need for more affordable housing, maintaining the affordable housing that presently exists and supportive services that keep people housed.

House Bill 1406, established April 2019, allows the revenue collected to go towards acquiring, rehabilitating, or constructing affordable housing, including new units of affordable housing within an existing structure or facilities providing supportive housing services to individuals with mental or behavioral disorders. It also allows for operations and maintenance costs of new units of affordable or supportive housing. Housing and services may only be provided to persons whose income is at or below 60 percent of the county median income. The estimated annual amount is $104,000 and the tax-retention expires 20 years after the jurisdiction first imposes retention of the tax.

The City of Shelton and Mason County entered into an Interlocal Agreement (ILA) in March of 2019 to work together on affordable housing and homelessness. HB 1406, in conjunction with the local document recording fees, provides another fund source to impact needed housing and services in the community.

The Housing and Behavioral Health Advisory Board recently evaluated Request for Proposals for affordable housing acquisition and preservation. Their recommendation was accepted by the Board of County Commissioners to fund needed roof maintenance on Housing Authority property and provide support to Quixote Communities toward the manufacturing and installation of tiny homes in the village for veterans.