Mayor Jenny Durkan signed the latest piece of her “Housing Seattle Now” initiative into law earlier this month. It provides $50 million in funds to build and support housing for people experiencing long-term homelessness.
The Washington State Legislature made these funds possible by passage of House Bill 1406 earlier this year. Funds could be available in the first quarter of next year, according to a Seattle announcement.
The law allows cities to retain more sales tax to fund development and operations of affordable housing. The city’s growing homeless problem has blighted neighborhoods and interfered with shopping downtown and throughout portions of the city.
From informal counts, Seattle estimates that there are a minimum of 11,200 homeless people sleeping within city limits.
Among Durkan’s other efforts to address homelessness:
- Signing an executive order to encourage development of more in-law apartments and backyard cottages
- Signed a law that will produce an estimated 6,000 affordable homes with 10 years.
- Signs a law advancing her hope of creating an affordable residential community at Fort Lawton.