More than $35 million in federal homeless assistance funds was awarded jointly to the City of Seattle and King County. This includes over $4.3 million in new funding to create housing for over 350 households, and critical renewal funding for existing homeless housing and services countywide.
In a highly competitive national competition, Seattle and King County have been awarded federal funding to create seven new permanent supportive housing projects for chronically homeless households and two new rapid re-housing projects. The funding will also help the city and county implement coordinated entry for all people seeking homeless housing and renew funding for hundreds of existing supportive housing units across the region.
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 over 350 households and critical renewal funding for existing homeless housing and services countywide for individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced the award following the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announcement of over $1.9 billion in total grants awarded nationwide in a competition HUD called "the most competitive ever."
"We are grateful for the recognition of our success with the Housing First model, combining housing with services to help people who have been chronically homeless achieve stability and leave the streets for good," said Executive Constantine. "Thanks to this extraordinary federal support, we can increase our efforts to move more individuals and families from homelessness to housing."
"In declaring our State of Emergency to respond to homelessness, we called for more federal and state funding for strategies that move people into permanent housing," said Mayor Ed Murray. "We will continue to pursue what works best to respond to the needs of those in crisis."
The new funding 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.
"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."
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.
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.
"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.
The renewal funding awarded to the Seattle/King County Continuum of Care supports 62 community-based projects for a total of 2,515 units of housing: 1,868 units of permanent supportive housing for homeless people with disabilities and 647 units of transitional housing. The total includes funding for two Safe Haven facilities that offer supportive housing for homeless adults with severe mental illness. Also renewed is funding for Continuum of Care planning and the Safe Harbors Homeless Management Information System, which collects data on services provided to homeless people in programs throughout King County.