KING COUNTY, Wash — The King County Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRHA) released a draft plan that calls for $25.5 billion over five years to end homeless in King County.
They are asking for feedback on the draft, which the public can provide by going to this link. Initially, $8 billion would be used for capital costs and $3.5 billion would be necessary each year for operational costs.
Poll after poll shows that homelessness is a top issue in the state of Washington. Gov. Jay Inslee is devoting $4 billion of his proposed 2023-2025 budget to affordable housing.
"Fundamentally, this (homelessness issue) has occurred because we have not built the housing, the roofs people need to live under,” Governor Inslee said at a press conference.
Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell plans to spend $250 million each year for his 2023-2024 budget on affordable housing.
“Lack of access to housing is the source to homelessness and gaining access to housing is the solution,” Mayor Harrell said at a recent press conference.
KCRHA’s plan lays out how it arrived at a price point much larger than what the governor or mayor has proposed. Most notably, their plans fund a little more than 23,000 temporary housing units.
However, one King County Elected Official was quick to push back.
“It’s too much, it’s too big,” King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn said. He thinks KCRHA should go for a lower price point.
“Maybe $500 million annually would be a fair amount if the strategies were working,” he said.
Councilmember Dunn says his reservation about the plan goes beyond the price. He wants to make sure whatever plan moves forward addresses the root causes of the problem.
"Housing is an important part of the overall solution, but that's only part of it. We've got to double down on things like substance use and addiction treatment,” Dunn said.
KING 5 did reach out to KCRHA for an interview about their plan, and is working to arrange time for an interview to allow for further explanation of the proposal.