At Grand Opening for Affordable Seattle Apartment Complex, Cantwell Calls on Colleagues to Pass Low-Income Housing Bill That Awaits Crucial Senate Vote

Expanding the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit would help WA add 1.7k more affordable housing units this year alone; Cantwell got LIHTC measure included in bicameral tax deal, which then overwhelmingly passed the House, and now awaits Senate action

SEATTLE, WA – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) joined Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell and other local leaders, housing advocates, and tenants to celebrate the grand opening of John Fox Place, a 104-unit affordable housing complex in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood.

In her remarks, Sen. Cantwell called on her Senate colleagues to pass the bipartisan tax package that would significantly boost the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program. John Fox Place used the LIHTC program to help offset the cost of construction.

“The cost of housing continues to be a challenge not just for Puget Sound, but for our nation,” said Sen. Cantwell. “But there is a solution: Build more supply.”

The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit … is a national program,” Sen. Cantwell added. “[90%] of the affordable housing that gets built gets built with the tax credit. So if we at the federal level don't increase the tax credit, then we aren't incenting enough builders to build this supply. [This] legislation … has passed the House of Representatives and now we just need the Senate to take it up and pass it.”

In addition to Mayor Harrell, Sen. Cantwell was joined by Washington State Commerce Director Mike Fong, housing advocate John Fox, housing advocate Joe Martin, former Seattle City Councilmember Nick Licata, Redstone Equity Senior Vice President Irene Choi, and multiple tenants of the new housing complex.

More information on John Fox Place can be found HERE.

Sen. Cantwell has long advocated for the need to increase the availability of affordable housing and is the leading LIHTC advocate in the Senate. More information about Sen. Cantwell’s work to include an expansion to the LIHTC program in the bipartisan tax package is available HERE.

The House passed the bipartisan tax package on Jan. 31. Sen. Cantwell worked behind the scenes to make sure that an extension and expansion of the LIHTC were included in the tax agreement before it was considered by the House of Representatives. Once the legislation is approved by the Senate and signed by President Biden, these improvements to the LIHTC program would fund an additional 1,700 units of affordable housing in Washington state in 2024 alone.


Since 1986, the Housing Credit has paid for 90% of the federally-funded affordable housing construction across the country, and has financed over 3.8 million affordable homes, including more than 100,000 in Washington state.

Legislation approved by the House last month lowers the requirement for bond funding from 50% of a project to 30% of a project for developers to receive the tax credit, marking the first reduction in the bond test in 35 years. According to the Washington State Housing Finance Commission, this will allow the state to issue millions more worth of bonds and build nearly twice as many units as expected -- an additional 1,500 units of housing financed in 2024.

The package also restores a 12.5% tax incentive increase that originally expired in 2021. According to the Washington State Housing Finance Commission, this improvement will allow Washington state to fund 222 more affordable apartment units in 2024, and 600-650 units over three years. The increase will help the state allocate more funding for housing for the lowest income and most vulnerable people in Washington state, especially the homeless.

Since its creation, the Housing Credit has helped build or restore over 100,000 affordable homes in the State of Washington. The economic activity that the credit generated has supported nearly 170,000 jobs and generated more than $19 billion in wages.