King County Council approves plan for ‘Health though Housing’ dollars to 2028

Dec 7, 2021, 4:50 PM
health through housing...
King County Executive Constantine (left) outside the Clarion Inn in Auburn, the fifth hotel purchase through the Health through Housing Initiative. (Photo courtesy of King County Executive's Office)
(Photo courtesy of King County Executive's Office)

The King County Council now has a plan for how to spend money to house homeless individuals in single-occupancy units through 2028.

On Tuesday, the county council passed an implementation plan for the Health through Housing program, which has a goal of housing up to 1,600 people experiencing chronic homelessness in single-occupancy units, such as in hotels and nursing homes.

First Seattle homeless residents moving in to King County’s hotel

The regional approach to homelessness, first introduced by King County Executive Dow Constantine in his 2020 budget speech, involves purchasing facilities with single-occupancy units and turning them into emergency and permanent supportive housing. This is funded with a 0.1% sales tax the council passed in 2020.

In 2021, nine properties were purchased under Health through Housing, and the county plans to add three more locations. The plan passed Tuesday will govern expenditures of Health through Housing dollars for the next six years — from 2022 to 2028.

According to a release from the county council, the plan anticipates spending $333.7 million for capital financing and site improvements, $309.5 million for emergency and permanent supportive housing operations, $67.2 million for behavioral health services outside of the sites, $3.7 million to build capacity of agencies who represent communities disproportionately experiencing chronic homelessness, and $5.5 million for evaluation and performance measurement.

It also establishes a Health through Housing Advisory Committee.

Seattle leaders announce new funding for permanent supportive housing

“With the passage of this plan, we take another step towards implementing a real, proven strategy that will bring hundreds of our neighbors off the streets and into safe, stable housing,” said King County Council Chair Claudia Balducci in a news release. “I appreciate the regional partnerships that will make it possible for us to provide infrastructure throughout King County. Health through Housing will change lives and make our communities better.”

The King County Council passed the measure unanimously.

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King County Council approves plan for ‘Health though Housing’ dollars to 2028