As part of We Are In’s work to educate the community, raise awareness around the issues of housing and homelessness, and advocate for change, we want to spotlight the important progress that is underway — whether in housing, services, or policy and infrastructure. This page serves as a round-up of the progress we’re making across the region — check back periodically for additional updates.
Preventing and ending homelessness is consistently the most important issue for people in our region. This sense of urgency and concern is driving much-needed change on the issues of housing and homelessness in King County. New housing units are opening up; services are improving; significant investments from state and local governments as well as private partners have been made and more are on the way; and people experiencing homelessness are being connected to the shelter, services, and housing they need to thrive.
Progress by the Numbers
[Updated as of March 2023]
In 2022, more than 5,600 individuals, couples, youth, and families moved from homelessness into permanent housing.
Through federally funded Emergency Housing Vouchers, over 1,314 individuals, couples, and families previously experiencing homelessness or fleeing domestic violence have been moved into safe and stable places to live. King County’s EHV program is highlighted by federal partners as one of the best in the nation.
Partnership for Zero and the Housing Command Center have moved 150+ individuals, couples, and families into permanent and interim housing, and more are currently moving through the housing process.
The State Right of Way Initiative has resolved 6 encampments, moving nearly 190 people safely inside thanks to state funding and support.
In addition to those housed by KCRHA, nearly 500 previously homeless people have been housed across the region through the Health Through Housing Initiative, which has purchased 10 buildings to serve as interim and permanent supportive housing.
26 Systems Advocates have spent 13,000 hours in the field doing intensive outreach, including helping 200+ individuals obtain vital identification documentation and 300+ individuals fill out the Housing Needs Form. They’ve engaged with nearly 1,000 individuals to assess their needs in order to match them with services and housing as resources become available.
Stories of Progress
Homelessness agency launches emergency command center with federal help
Modeled on the federal government’s response to natural disasters, the Housing Command Center is significantly speeding up the process of getting people experiencing homelessness into permanent housing.
Incentive Package for Landlords & Housing Providers
A comprehensive incentive package for private landlords will help make additional housing units available to those experiencing homelessness by reducing or eliminating standard tenancy screening criteria, matching ready-to-rent tenants with vacant units, and addressing concerns that landlords may have about renting to a person who previously experienced homelessness.
Over 800 formerly homeless now housed
Federally funded Emergency Housing Vouchers are being put to good use in King County, with 786 households permanently housed. King County has leased 58% of the region’s federal voucher allocation, compared to the national average of 36%.
People who have experienced homelessness help others get off Seattle’s streets
The King County Regional Homelessness Authority’s new program is tapping people who have experienced homelessness to help currently homeless people get off the street and into long-term, stable housing.
City of Seattle invests $22 million in new funding for affordable housing
The investments are being made by the Office of Housing to support the productions of 267 new rent- and income-restricted homes to come to the Northgate and South Park neighborhoods.
King County names 2 groups to run ex-hotels in Auburn, Federal Way to house the homeless
Compass Housing Alliance and Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle will manage and operate two of the County’s Health Through Housing facilities.
King County, Seattle form coalition to boost mental health facilities and workforce
A wide-ranging proposal to address holes in the crisis response system, a lack of beds at residential treatment centers and workforce shortages is expected to head to the Metropolitan King County Council alongside Executive Dow Constantine’s 2023-24 biennial budget.
Smart policy on homelessness requires empathy, not contempt
There is a moral and practical obligation to avoid dehumanizing fellow human beings who have fallen on difficult times, and purely punitive policies will never resolve homelessness.