LEAVENWORTH — The City Council on Tuesday voted to participate in a state revenue-sharing program to support affordable housing efforts.
The city estimates it would receive about $16,000 a year, but no decision has been made yet on where the money would go.
A state law passed this year created the program for cities and counties. Local sales taxes would not increase; rather, Leavenworth would get a share of the existing sales and use tax the state collects within the city.
Development Services Manager Lilith Vespier said the city could collect .0073% of the sales and use tax, amounting to about $16,000 annually. The program expires in 20 years.
Upper Valley MEND and the Housing Authority of Chelan County and the City of Wenatchee both sent letters of support for the program to Leavenworth.
MEND has an emergency assistance program to help people stay in their homes. The Housing Authority is renovating and adding eight new units to Der Garten Haus, which serves low-income senior citizens.
Vespier said there are no set plans for how the funding would be used, but it can go toward acquisition, construction or renovation of affordable housing facilities, or operations and maintenance costs of affordable housing programs. Because Leavenworth has a population of less than 100,000, the money can also go toward rental assistance.
Funding must be used to help people whose income is at or below 60% of the city’s median income.