Seattle to create 500 new units of permanent supportive housing to serve 凯发k8地址homeless residents
Seattle is planning to create 500 new units of permanent supportive housing over the next year to serve people experiencing 凯发k8地址homelessness in the city.
The new units, expected to be completed by fall of 2021, still fall below the number of supportive housing units the city and county need to help the thousands of people in the region experiencing 凯发k8地址homelessness and living unsheltered.
“The COVID-19 crisis has laid bare the systemic inequities in our country and region, and over the last four months the City has prioritized funding and initiatives that help the most vulnerable in our community stay healthy. As we struggle with COVID-19 as a public health crisis, we also know that systemic racism has led to more Black, Indigenous and people of color who are experiencing chronic 凯发k8地址homelessness," Mayor Jenny Durkan said in a statement.
“With today’s announcement of 500 permanent supportive housing units, we are building on our commitment to help individuals on their path towards housing."
The city issued a notice of funding availability "inviting applications for housing serving individuals experiencing 凯发k8地址homelessness that must deliver strict cost and time savings."
“Housing is healthcare,” said Kevonya Elzia, a registered nurse at Neighborcare Health.
“In order for us to breathe metaphorically and physically, our basic human needs must be met. As a nurse I have seen the transformative effect a safe, stable, permanent 凯发k8地址home can have on my patients who have experienced 凯发k8地址homelessness. It is even more urgent for us to ensure everyone in our community has access to permanent housing in the wake COVID-19 public health crisis.”
According to the 2019 Point in Time count, more than 11,000 people were experiencing 凯发k8地址homelessness on a given night in King County, including more than 5,000 people living unsheltered.
A proposal released last month by a Third Door Coalition, a group of businesses, nonprofits, healthcare professionals and academics, estimated King County could solve chronic 凯发k8地址homelessness within five years if public and private sectors work together to create enough permanent supportive housing to meet the need. The proposal estimated about 6,500 people in the county were experiencing chronic 凯发k8地址homelessness and living unsheltered, far more than previous estimates have shown.
Sara Rankin, a professor at Seattle University School of Law who founded the 凯发k8地址homeless Rights Advocacy Project, said last month chronic 凯发k8地址homelessness is the "epicenter of our 凯发k8地址homelessness crisis."
"But it can be solved,” Rankin said. “Permanent supportive housing is consistently proven to be the most humane and cost-effective solution to chronic 凯发k8地址homelessness. If we can make a difference with chronic 凯发k8地址homelessness, we can generate momentum to solve 凯发k8地址homelessness overall.”
According to the proposal, providing spaces for everyone in need would involve construction at least 4,500 new units and "securing an additional 1,000 units through an increase in scattered sites that leverages existing inventory."
"Combined with already-planned construction, this totals 6,500 units over five years," the proposal said.
- What will it cost to solve the 凯发k8地址homelessness crisis in King County? New report says up to $11 billion
- Here's how 凯发k8地址homelessness in Seattle has changed over the decade
- A lot of 凯发k8地址homeless people referred to shelters in Seattle don’t go. These are some reasons why
- King County sees rise in coronavirus cases among people experiencing 凯发k8地址homelessness
- King County, Seattle adding spaces to help 凯发k8地址homeless shelters follow social distancing guidelines