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Charter Amendment No. 2

Disposition of Real Property for Affordable Housing

Shall Section 230.10.10 of the King County charter be amended to remove a charter restriction on the county's authority to transfer, lease or sell real property for less than fair market value when the property will be used for affordable housing?



King County Charter Section 230.10.10 concerns the countywide metropolitan functions of wastewater treatment and transit that King County assumed when, in the mid-1990s, it merged with the Municipality of Metropolitan Seattle, then commonly referred to as "Metro.” Charter Section 230.10.10 requires that each metropolitan function be operated as a distinct functional unit and it requires that all revenues or properties held in funds for each metropolitan function be used only to benefit that metropolitan function.

If adopted, Charter Amendment No. 2 would remove the charter restriction on the county's authority to transfer, lease, or sell real property held by metropolitan function funds at less than fair market value if conveyed for affordable housing purposes. State law and county code already allow the county to convey other county property for less than fair market value for this purpose.

The King County Regional Affordable Housing Task Force determined that we need to build or preserve an additional 244,000 housing units by 2040 to meet our region’s affordable housing needs.  Making government-owned surplus properties available at an affordable price is one important strategy to help achieve the goal.

King County owns a significant amount of surplus property. The state legislature recently changed state law to enable these properties to be made available at a lower price for affordable housing. Old language in the County Charter is, however, inconsistent with the amended state law and requires sale at higher prices.

The change proposed by this amendment will allow the sale of certain surplus properties at a lower price when the property is to be used for affordable housing. This simple modification in the charter conforms the charter to revised state law and will help facilitate the construction of affordable housing across the county.

Michael Herschensohn, Patience Malaba, Rod Dembowski

No statement submitted.

Statements in favor of and in opposition to a ballot measure are submitted by committees appointed by the jurisdiction. No persons came forward to serve on the committee and to write a statement in opposition. If you would like to be involved with a committee in the future please contact the jurisdiction.

Simple Majority (King County Charter, Section 800)

For questions about this measure, contact: Patrick Hamacher, Director of Council Initiatives, 
(206) 477-0880,

22 en-US Production

TTY: Relay 711

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