Month: May 2016

King County Releases RFP for East King County Regional Access Point

The King County Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) is seeking qualified agencies to submit proposals  to implement a regional access point (RAP) in East King County. The Regional Access Point will serve a critical role in our community’s system of Coordinated Entry for All by offering access to CEA assessments and connections to related services.

Details regarding this funding opportunity, including information on an application workshop, are available here.

Federal Continuum of Care Grants Announced

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced over $1.9 billion in total grants nationwide for homelessness in what HUD called “the most competitive ever” year. In all, over $35 million in federal homeless assistance funds was awarded jointly to the City of Seattle and King County, including over $4.3 million in new funding to create housing for more than 350 households across the region. In addition, this announcement will allow our community to renew critical funding for new and existing homeless housing and services countywide for individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

“We know how to end homelessness and these grants support local programs that are proven to prevent and end homelessness as we’ve come to know it,” said HUD Secretary Julian Castro in announcing the funding grants.

New projects funded by HUD will create 243 units of permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless single adults in four projects, three located in Seattle and one with scattered sites countywide. New funding will also provide 49 units of permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless families. The federal grant also supports rapid re-housing to help 95 homeless households quickly transition from homelessness to permanent housing. Seventy of those units will target youth and young adults who are either in shelter or on the streets.

“This funding is essential for people experiencing homelessness,” said Mark Putnam, director of All Home. “Over the last three grant awards, we have shifted the focus towards the goals of our plan, to permanent housing solutions. We have also been successful in competing for bonus funds. Yet we still need more from Congress this session to help with housing, mental health and the opiate crisis.”

Seattle and King County jointly apply for the federal Continuum of Care grants each year. In a very competitive process, the region received its largest award ever from HUD.

The full list of organizations receiving funds can be viewed here.

Affordable Housing Week

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The Housing Development Consortium (HDC) is kicking off King County’s first-ever Affordable Housing Week, alongside partners from across the County, to highlight the current need and potential policy solutions for preserving and creating affordable housing in cities all throughout King County. Affordable Housing Week is a new annual tradition to show why affordable housing is so important in all of our communities, and to demonstrate support for the movement to ensure that all people have the chance to live in safe, healthy, affordable homes within communities of opportunity.

Today, the Metropolitan King County Council, proclaimed May 16-22 “Affordable Housing Week.” In addition, 20 cities across King County have also signed on to Affordable Housing Week!

As part of Affordable Housing Week, HDC is holding an Elected Official Reception on Thursday, May 19 4:30 – 6:30 pm at El Centro de la Raza (2524 16th Avenue South Seattle, WA 98144). This event is open to HDC members, housing advocates, supporters, elected officials, community members and friends, and will be a great opportunity to show elected officials our strength in number and passion for safe, equitable, and affordable homes. Please register to attend this event here.

More information on Affordable Housing Week can be found here.

Homeless Rights Advocacy Project Identifies Laws that Target the Visibly Poor

Seattle University School of Law’s Homeless Rights Advocacy Project (HRAP) has released six new reports that continue the group’s influential, groundbreaking research into laws that target the visibly poor. The new reports examine the impacts of increasingly popular laws and policies that criminalize homelessness, such as prohibitions on living in vehicles, sweeps of tent encampments, pet ownership standards, and barriers to access at emergency shelters.

“Our research in 2015 started an important conversation, both locally and nationally, about treating people with compassion and fairness under the law,” said Professor Sara Rankin, HRAP’s faculty director. “These new reports take that conversation to the next level.”

HRAP students conducted extensive legal research and analysis to complete the briefs, conducting interviews with a wide range of experts (including people experiencing homelessness); surveying municipal, state, and federal laws; and reviewing legal standards set by previous court decisions.

“We found that common homelessness myths are refuted by statistics, experience, case law, and common sense,” said Justin Olson, a third-year law student. “These are the issues that people experiencing homelessness struggle with every day.”

The new reports identify specific common problems and offer effective, legally sound alternatives.

The full reports are available here.