Public Housing Authorities. Public housing authorities (PHAs) are public bodies established to provide safe and affordable rental housing for low-income individuals and families. A PHA must be activated by a resolution of the governing body of a city or county, and a PHA's boundaries are coextensive with the creating city or county, unless established as a joint housing authority comprised of two or more jurisdictions. With some exceptions, PHAs are governed by a five-member commission appointed by a city's mayor or a county's commissioners.
PHAs primarily serve as a conduit for federally funded housing programs, such as tenant-based vouchers and publicly-owned housing. PHAs also own and operate other rental housing, such as emergency and transitional housing, senior housing, and properties funded through low-income housing tax credits. PHAs have no taxing authority.
Affordable Housing Advisory Board. The Affordable Housing Advisory Board (AHAB) advises Department of Commerce (Commerce) on housing and housing-related issues. The AHAB currently has 24 members representing public entities, local governments, housing industries, and other stakeholders.
Housing Gap Voucher Pilot Program. PHAs must implement and administer a Housing Gap Voucher Pilot Program (Program), from July 1, 2023 until June 30, 2029, to provide rental assistance for seniors, low-income families, and members of marginalized communities living in manufactured or rental housing in Washington.
Housing eligible for use in the Program must be located in Washington and must comply with the applicable state and local health, housing, building, and safety codes. The PHAs must establish a proportional payment standard for eligible manufactured and rental housing in each municipality that promotes the use of a uniform and consistent approach for the Program in all municipalities. The payment standard is a range from the current fair market rent to 125 percent of the fair market rent, determined by PHAs based on bedroom size and the housing market of the municipality.
PHAs may provide a housing gap voucher to any low-income family in Washington who meets the eligibility qualifications set by Commerce, or who is currently being served by a state assistance program and issue a voucher payment for eligible manufactured and rental housing in any municipality in the state. The voucher payment will be equal to the difference between the resident rent, and either the applicable payment standard or contract rent, whichever is less.
At least once in every 12-month period, each resident participating in the Program must provide complete and accurate information, subject to third-party verification, about the income and composition of the resident's household to Commerce. PHAs must use the information provided to annually determine whether the housing gap voucher and share of rent should be adjusted, and whether the resident is eligible for continued participation in the Program. PHAs may find that any resident who fails to provide the required information is ineligible for continued participation in the Program.
PHAs must establish uniform and consistent rules to implement and administer the Program, including payment standards, application, and reporting requirements.
Report to the Legislature. PHAs, in consultation with stakeholders and AHAB, must submit a report to the Legislature by December 1, 2027, that includes:
Definitions. The following definitions apply: