Seattle and King County Housing Authorities team up with King County to house 426 additional homeless and disabled households

Friday, November 30, 2018

The Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) and the King County Housing Authority (KCHA) have just received notice of a third 2018 award of new federal voucher funding to help house the region’s most vulnerable and homeless households.

In total, the three recent funding awards will enable the two housing authorities, working in partnership with King County, the Federal Veterans Administration (VA) and the Washington State Department of Children, Youth and Families, to house 426 additional households.

Earlier this year, the housing authorities applied to the federal government for additional housing vouchers in three separate categories. They worked in partnership with the King County Department of Community and Human Services to propose a coordinated program in which the vouchers could immediately be put into use to help homeless veterans, homeless families and youth, and adults with disabilities secure stable housing and the support services they need to remain stably housed.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded the new vouchers through three separate programs:

  1. Mainstream Vouchers for non-elderly adults with disabilities
  2. Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) Vouchers for homeless veterans, provided jointly through HUD and the VA; and 
  3. Family Unification Program (FUP) Vouchers, which are used to assist both homeless families with children who are involved with the child welfare system and foster children at risk of homelessness as they age out of the system at age 18. 

Awards in Seattle and King County were as follows:


Organization
Mainstream
VASH
FUP
SHA
79
15
75
KCHA
99
97
61

The King County Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) has several divisions that work directly with the special populations the vouchers will assist, and it oversees the region’s coordinated Homeless Management Information System.

The housing authorities will work with DCHS and community partners to identify individuals and families eligible for and most in need of the additional vouchers. The KCHA Mainstream award builds on the Authority’s Housing Access and Support Program (HASP), which is already supporting 1,800 disabled households in partnership with King County and community-based providers as well as existing VASH and FUP programs that are providing 1,196 vouchers.

SHA, which currently serves 769 households with Mainstream, VASH and FUP vouchers, is working with DCHS to identify people who have been in shelter housing long term and no longer need intensive services if there is a stable housing option, thus freeing up capacity in the system for homeless people to newly come into shelter and obtain the higher level of services.

More than 30 partner agencies are working to support these households through King County’s homeless crisis response system. They help identify eligible people, assist them through the voucher application process, help find appropriate rentals including physically accessible units, assist voucher recipients through the leasing process and provide home and community-based services after a household has received a voucher through this partnership.

“The addition of these vouchers provide additional housing resources and support services for our most vulnerable population,” said SHA Executive Director Andrew Lofton. 
“We appreciate the successful efforts of Senator Patty Murray to get these additional federal resources and we appreciate the local partnerships that will enable us to make a difference right away in the lives of more homeless individuals and families.”

Rents are continuing to outpace the ability of many of our neighbors to stay housed,” said Stephen Norman, Executive Director of the King County Housing Authority.

“These vouchers address the housing needs of some of the most vulnerable members of our community. I am very pleased at how this approach coordinates housing and service resources for these families and individuals on the street level. 
"To solve this problem, however, more resources on the federal level are needed. We are extremely grateful to Sen. Patty Murray for her steadfast advocacy and success in getting this funding for our region.”  

“To truly tackle the regional homelessness crisis we need partnerships between the Seattle and King County housing authorities, all of our cities, community organizations, and the federal government. I am thankful for Sen. Patty Murray’s efforts to secure additional housing funding that will transform people’s lives,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine.

“These vouchers will bring indoors hundreds of vulnerable adults, youth and families with children, including families involved in the child welfare system, one of the root causes of homelessness.”


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