Regional Homeless Authority requests nearly $12 billion for 5-year plan

Jan 27, 2023, 8:22 AM | Updated: 1:12 pm
(Pat Nabong/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

(Pat Nabong/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

How much money would it take to solve homelessness in Seattle? The King County Regional Homeless Authority (KCRHA) estimates that it would take roughly $11.8 billion to address homelessness.

In their 5-year plan to end homelessness, the agency said they are looking to dramatically increase access to housing, addiction services, and other social services with the money.

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The plan requires $8.4 billion in new one-time capital costs over five years and between $1.7 billion and $3.4 billion in additional annual operating costs.

According to the plan released by KCRHA, collective action between multiple county agencies and the public are required in order to take steps to address the region’s homelessness problem.

“For the Authority to truly be successful in actualizing the promise embedded in its architecture, KCRHA must continue to unify the region so that our work truly represents the will and financial investment of all 39 cities and King County, effectively coordinated for maximum collective impact, focused on ending homelessness,” the KCRHA’s plan said. “As we work together on achieving these goals, we are driving towards a hopeful, inclusive future where every person has a safe and stable place to live. There is much to do. Let’s get started.”

The beginning of the plan outlines seven goals the KCRHA has for 2023 to 2028.

1. Dramatically reduce unsheltered homelessness.

2. Restructure the service system to improve capacity, support, and efficiency.

3. Ensure the availability of accessible, accountable, and responsive services.

4. Reduce the impact of racism on people experiencing homelessness.

5. No family with children sleeps outside.

6. Every youth and young adult has a home.

7. The region acts as one to address homelessness.

King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn expressed concern about the plan in a statement Thursday.

Dunn emphasized the need for healthcare facilities, specifically behavioral health facilities and drug rehabilitation programs.

“KCRHA’s jaw-dropping price tag will still fall short until we take seriously the need to instead prioritize funding from behavioral health facilities like Western State Hospital, more inpatient and outpatient drug rehabilitation programs, and behavioral health crisis care centers being considered by King County right now,” Dunn said.

Over 13,000 people experienced homelessness in King County last year, according to the Point in Time Count. That makes the KCHRA cost $882,705 per homeless individual in King County, Dunn said.

The KCRHA invites the public to look over the plan and leave comments via their survey, which will be open until Feb. 8.

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Regional Homeless Authority requests nearly $12 billion for 5-year plan