Sound Transit is committed to creating equitable, vibrant, and affordable communities in our station areas. To help meet that commitment, as part of the voter-approved ST3 plan, Sound Transit is contributing $4 million per year for five years into a revolving loan fund (RLF) to create more affordable housing near our transit stations. This fund will help to fill the gaps in affordable housing finance and make affordable housing more feasible in our station areas.
In November of 2018, the Executive Committee of the Sound Transit Board of Directors approved five goals to guide the fund. These goals provide direction on the vision and expected outcomes for the fund, and they serve as the foundation for how the agency will design, leverage and deploy the fund:
- Sound Transit will identify partnership opportunities for the fund’s programmatic development and administration.
- The fund is a self-replenishing pool of money, utilizing interest and principal payments on old loans to issue new ones.
- Sound Transit will leverage its contribution to the fund by seeking additional funding from public and private sources.
- The fund will facilitate the development of equitable transit oriented development on Sound Transit properties.
- The fund will support strategies that minimize resident displacement from properties near Sound Transit investments.
In 2019, Sound Transit partnered with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to help identify gaps in the affordable housing landscape and develop a plan for how our revolving loan fund can best facilitate affordable housing opportunities and equitable transit oriented development.
As part of that work, LISC undertook an Affordable Housing Needs Assessment to identify challenges, gaps and needs in affordable housing finance. The Needs Assessment engaged cross-sectoral stakeholders through interviews and focus groups to understand how the RLF could be most effective in addressing financing gaps.