MLT commits to interagency low- and middle-income housing program

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The Mountlake Terrace City Council gave its approval Monday night to the city becoming a paying member of the Interjurisdictional Housing Coordination program, intended to bring more low- and moderate- income housing to South Snohomish County.

Twelve jurisdictions have shown indications of entering into the joint program, including Edmonds, Lynnwood and Woodway. Advocates hope the effort will result in participating cities and Snohomish County coordinating efforts around housing issues, attracting additional money from public and private sources for low- and middle-income housing, and retaining existing attainable and sustainable housing.

The main cost for the program is the salary for one staff person who would be hired because of his or her local government housing expertise, officials stated. The Gates Foundation is providing $50,000 to assist in start-up costs, but each participating jurisdiction will also expected to contribute a proportional share, based on population, toward program operating expenses. The City of Mountlake Terrace’s projected share for fiscal year 2013 is $1,188, to be paid by a special fund set aside for efforts intended to improve housing safety and affordability.

The sum contribution for fiscal year 2013-2014 to the program, if all 12 jurisdictions join, would total $89,850.

The City of Mountlake Terrace may also take on the role of the fiscal agency for the program, administering its bank account and providing the payroll checks for the program’s one staff person.

Councilmember Kyoko Matsumoto Wright currently represents Mountlake Terrace on the Interjurisdictional Housing Program Committee.

— By Doug Petrowski

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