Durkan’s Rental Voucher Program Will Help Thousand of Individuals and Families Struggling in Seattle
In First Year, Durkan Would Aim to Create 1,000 New Micro-Houses for People Experiencing Homelessness
Seattle – Building on her Affordable Seattle Agenda, former U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan outlined a bold, progressive “More Housing Now” agenda to provide thousands more families with access to affordable housing. With nearly 50,000 people spending more than half of their incomes on rent and 8,500 people experiencing homelessness on any given night, Durkan proposed a rent voucher program to provide immediate support to keep families and individuals in their homes as well as a plan to build 1,000 micro-houses in her first year as mayor.
“So many in our city are one bill, illness, or rent increase away from losing their home or even worse, being pushed into homelessness. The next mayor must act urgently and quickly to increase the amount of affordable housing, which is why I’m proposing a More Housing Now agenda to immediately implement in my first days as mayor,” said Jenny Durkan.
To increase housing affordability for severely rent-burdened individuals and families, Durkan would implement a City-run rent voucher program to assist those with incomes between 30% and 50% of AMI. You can read more specifics about Jenny’s rent voucher plan here.
“Rental assistance through a rent voucher program can help vulnerable households make up the difference between keeping a roof over their heads and being pushed out onto the streets,” continued Durkan.
In May, Durkan proposed providing up to 700 additional beds in emergency shelters as well as expanding and improving interventions with families living in cars and RVs and a Seattle-King County regional consolidation of homelessness services. Her “More Housing Now” builds on these immediate actions and aims to create 1,000 new micro-houses in Seattle in her first year as Mayor to move people out of encampments and off our streets. You can read more specifics about Jenny’s plans to build more micro-housing here.
“There is no one solution that will end homelessness. Micro-housing is not a long-term solution, but experience has shown that this sort of approach will provide safer, healthier alternatives living outside for those experiencing homelessness,” said Durkan.
While Durkan’s opponent has recently said she would “restart” the HALA process, Durkan believes we should improve HALA, not abandon it and risk 20,000 new affordable housing units which are required under HALA. As mayor, Durkan would direct departments to design a process to speed the development of affordable housing projects by cutting permitting and review time in half. She also intends to explore innovative financing alternatives to bring more resources to the problem.
“By starting back at square one, we would risk delaying thousands of affordable housing units. The next mayor should aim to make these homes to come online faster — not add more red tape and delays,” concluded Durkan.
In her plan, Durkan outlines a number of potential funding sources. While Durkan reiterated her plans to explore taxing speculation around short term flips, second homes, or vacant properties, Durkan is not proposing a tax on “non-resident owners” or any tax that targets people based on national origin.
Jenny Durkan’s Affordable Seattle Agenda is a comprehensive plan to tackle Seattle’s affordability crisis from every angle. This includes protecting and creating more affordable housing, building true economic empowerment for all residents, solving homelessness, addressing rising costs, and ensuring students from all economic backgrounds, and from every neighborhood in Seattle, have the chance to earn a credential, certificate.
For Immediate Release, September 21, 2017