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Fri Jan 14, 2022, 02:48 PM

New coalition tells state lawmakers to prioritize ending chronic homelessness

A new coalition of elected officials and community and business leaders, including the heads of Alaska Air, Boeing, Microsoft and others, is calling on state lawmakers to prioritize ending chronic homelessness this session.

The ask by the House Washington coalition comes at the start of the short 60-day session, and ending homelessness will cost a lot of money. Addressing the crisis in just King County would cost up to $410 million a year to address at 2018 levels, according to a study by McKinsey. Gov. Jay Inslee is asking the Legislature to budget more than $815 million to address homelessness.

House Washington spelled out its request to focus on funding emergency and affordable housing, and to increase funding for behavioral and mental health services. House Washington likes Inslee's approach that prioritizes funding of the Rapid Housing Acquisition Fund and the Housing Trust Fund.

"The Legislature has an unprecedented opportunity to take action to address the housing and homelessness crisis in our state, Michelle Seitz, chairman and CEO of Russell Investments said in a news release, adding the business community "stands ready to work with others across the state" on the issue.


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