SEATTLE — Gov. Jay Inslee spent the day in King County meeting with various agencies and local leaders to learn more about efforts to address the homeless crisis.
He toured a tiny home village built by the Low Income Housing Institute located on the corner of Yesler Way and 18th Avenue in Seattle. It's one of 10 tiny villages in Seattle and one of 16 in the state.
The Yesler Way location currently houses 43 residents in the 33 homes on site.
The state has invested more than $1.5 million in tiny home villages over the past couple of years. Inslee believes it's an effective solution.
"We need emergency services to get people who need to dry out, frankly,” Inslee said. “We need critical care where people can detox, we need tiny villages where people can get secure and private. We need long-term solutions for people and more long-term solutions for people and more long-term apartment and subsidized housing."
The governor's office said the state plans to invest up to $500 million from now through July 2023 to address the homelessness across the state.
Inslee’s office previously noted that before the pandemic, about 30 out of every 10,000 Washingtonians were experiencing homelessness and that preliminary data indicates that there was a 2% increase from January 2020 to January 2021.
As of January 2020, there were an estimated 22,923 people in Washington experiencing homelessness, according to information from the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness. Of those, 2,116 were family households, 1,607 veterans, 1,777 people between the ages of 18-24 and 6,756 who were experiencing chronic homelessness.
Washington saw the third-largest increase in homelessness between 2019 and 2020, according to the 2020 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress. There was an increase of 1,346 experiencing homelessness during that time.