The legislative session is upon us, and we have a monumental task ahead of us: ensure that the many renters who are behind on rent in Washington are not evicted from their homes, and invest deeply in permanent affordable housing to ensure that people can thrive in a stable, affordable home throughout the recovery and into the future. Will you lend your voice? Please take action by sending an email via the form to the right.
State lawmakers will have the opportunity to prioritize investments in building the affordable homes our state needs in order to prevent and end homelessness. They will also have the opportunity to invest in rental assistance, eviction prevention and in emergency homeless shelters – the COVID pandemic has dramatically increased the urgency for these investments and state lawmakers must be asked to prioritize them. The Governor's proposed Operating and Capital budgets centered affordable housing and homelessness. We applaud him and call on the state legislature to follow his lead, especially on the following items:
Capital Budget requests:
Invest in Affordable Homes and Increase Shelter Capacity:
State funded rental assistance for people impacted by the COVID pandemic is needed to supplement upcoming federal investments. At any time in Washington there are as many as 180,000 renters who are behind on rent, and the rental assistance need PER MONTH is approximately $100 million. The $500 million in anticipated federal funds will significantly help to address the backlog of rent that has accumulated since last Spring, but renters across the state will need on-going support during the slow economic recovery. Lawmakers should adopt the Governor's budget and pass a document recording fee increase of $100 dollars to create a state funded rental assistance program.
The legislature should follow the governor’s lead and also increase investments in Housing & Essential Needs rental assistance for extremely low income, disabled adults, in critical homeless youth & young adult programs including the Anchor Community Initiative, and more.
Finally, in order to address pre and post COVID needs across the state, and to ensure our tax sytem promotes, rather than hinders, fairness and racial equity lawmakers must pass significant progressive revenue this session.
Please take action today by sending an email via the form to the right! Thank you for your advocacy!