Special Session Continues
Contact Your Legislator: Fund $65M for HTF, Preserve Safety Net and Support New Revenues
Again this year, the safety and well-being of many King County residents – the homeless, low-wage earners, people with physical and mental health challenges, seniors, veterans and children – hang in the balance in Olympia:
Our lawmakers are in “special session” right now, and there is still time to ask them to invest in affordable homes and to protect the services that help people meet their most basic needs. The House Budget restored all the Senate’s cuts, while the Governor proposed a much deeper investment in the Housing Trust Fund at $65 million.
• 1,141 disabled single adults in King County will lose monthly rental supports that help keep them stably housed if the Housing and Essential Needs program (HEN) is not fully funded. New House bill HB 2069 is a step in the right direction and we’re working to make it even better.
• $2.1 million is at stake, supporting 40 Family emergency and transitional housing programs with 513 families housed and 15 Single Adult programs housing 886 individuals if the Consolidated Homeless Grants (CHG) are not continued.
• A $5 million (House budget) to $7.3 million (Senate budget) cut to King County’s mental health system for the biennium undermining already financially-stressed programs.
• A $3.5 million cut to King County for substance abuse treatment (both the House and Senate proposed budgets) on the assumption that significant savings from Medicaid expansion are forthcoming. Even if those Federal funds are forthcoming, interim funding from the state is necessary to bridge the transition.
• East King County and Seattle have no Housing Trust Fund projects in the $51.5 million House capital budget, while the Senate’s capital budget has only $35 million total for funding projects across the entire state. Either outcome would leave precious local leverage resources unused, resulting in less low-income and affordable housing production.
• New revenue sources, the key to sustaining and potentially increasing these programs, are being considered in the House but no single mechanism has momentum.
Your legislator needs to know where you stand, so call the Legislative hotline today at 1-800-562-6000 (TTY for Hearing Impaired 1-800-635-9993) and tell your legislator that all of the people of King County deserve their support and need these programs to be preserved and adequately funded. That means supporting the programs listed above AND being clear that revenue is part of the solution.
You can also use the Housing Alliance’s action page to send a message to your legislator.
Help our voices be heard. Together, we can make a difference.