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Posted on: December 19, 2023

City Expands Program to Create Affordable Housing

MFTE Expansion-1

City Expands Program to Create Affordable Housing

Puyallup, WA – The City of Puyallup is delighted to announce that it has expanded its Multifamily Tax Exemption (MFTE) program to stimulate affordable housing development. City Council recently passed an Ordinance to create new opportunities for developers looking to build more housing in the City limits.

The MFTE program was originally only available for new construction in some of the city’s downtown area. With the new changes that were recently adopted, the program has expanded to both the City’s Regional Growth Centers (RGCs), which are Downtown and South Hill. Additionally, the River Road Corridor was added to stimulate housing and economic growth in the area. City Planning Manager, Katie Baker, comments on the changes.

“With this expansion, this will incentivize developers to look at Puyallup in a new light,” says Baker. “We know that the costs of building new housing are rising, so we as a City need to create attractive programs that entice developers to create more housing inventory. According to the State, we need to accommodate over 7,482 units of housing by 2044 to meet population growth targets. This program expansion is another tool in our toolbox to stimulate housing growth.”

The State Department of Commerce created the MFTE program as a way to simulate affordable housing through tax incentives for residential developers. The program allows cities to designate Residential Target Areas (RTAs), where developers can apply for and receive property tax exemptions on new housing developments for a specified time period. Currently, the City has an 8-year and 12-year option for developers to take advantage of. 

Under the tax exemptions, a property owner or developer does not have to pay property taxes on the residential improvements for 8 or 12 years in Puyallup. The property owner still pays taxes on the land and commercial improvements to the property. Under the 8-year option, there are no affordability requirements, and developers can choose to pursue market-rate housing. For the 12-year option, at least 20 percent of the units must be affordable (less than 80 percent AMI) or moderate (between 80 and 115 percent AMI) housing units.

According to the Department of Commerce, 55 communities across Washington, including Puyallup, have active MFTE programs that are contributing to affordable housing growth. Since launching the MFTE program, the State has seen thousands of new housing units being built. 

For more information and to apply for the City’s MFTE program, please visit our website or contact Katie Baker, Planning Manager, at kbaker@puyallupwa.gov

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