A public forum on a possible housing levy for Olympia will run 6-7:30 p.m. Wednesday (March 29) at the United Churches, 110 11th Ave. SE in downtown Olympia.
The forum is sponsored by the Home Fund, a nonprofit advocacy group that is asking Thurston County cities to put a property tax on the November ballot to generate money for affordable housing. The goal would be to build 250 units of affordable housing over the next seven years and fund support services that would help people find and keep housing.
Speakers at the forum will include Home Fund members and SideWalk program director Phil Owen, Greg Winter of the Opportunity Council of Bellingham and Vancouver City Councilwoman member Alisha Topper. Bellingham and Vancouver are among the Washington cities that have passed affordable housing levies.
The Home Fund’s proposal would ask for 36 cents per $1,000 in assessed property value and could generate about $2.2 million a year in direct revenue for seven years if it comes to fruition, according to the group.
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The proposal is similar to Bellingham’s levy, which passed with 56 percent approval in 2012.
No official ballot proposal has been created so far. The Olympia City Council recently formed a committee to examine options for reducing homelessness and building more affordable housing, and it will consider the possibility of a ballot measure for Olympia voters in the November election.