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January 2017

New loan fund will support developers of affordable housing

Developers of affordable and mixed income housing may be able to tap into a new $21 million revolving loan fund to build housing near transit lines around Puget Sound. Funds from the Regional Equitable Development Initiative (REDI) are available to both for-profit and nonprofit builders.

The fund will leverage the Sound Transit buildout that will add 672 miles of light rail, bus and heavy rail in metro areas around King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. Passage of the ST3 measure is expected to drive up real estate costs along the new routes as builders of both affordable and market-rate housing vie for land.

Backers of REDI include Enterprise Community Partners Inc., and a coalition of public, private and nonprofit investors. Other early funders include the city of Seattle, King County and A Regional Coalition for Housing, a partnership of 15 cities in King County.

The measure is intended to spur projects like the Mercy Othello Plaza near a South Seattle light rail stop where apartments in the 108-unit development will rent for $450 to $1,100 a month.