Domestic violence is a leading cause of homelessness for women and children. Before the pandemic, Washington was already facing an affordable housing and homelessness crisis. Domestic violence advocates have told us that COVID-19 has made the housing situation much worse for survivors. The state has also lost shelter capacity because of social distancing requirements.
Survivors and their families need affordable housing and shelter! Governor Inslee proposed historic investments in his Capital Budget for affordable housing and shelter. We need lawmakers to do the same. Now is the time to ask your lawmakers to prioritize these Capital Budget investments!
We are joining our friends at the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance (WLIHA) in prioritizing the following Capital Budget requests:
- $240 million for the Housing Trust Fund to build new affordable homes
- $10 million to purchase and preserve affordable housing at risk of loss
- $70 million for rapid acquisition of property for shelter, transitional, and permanent supportive housing
- $40 million for enhanced shelter capacity grants
The Housing Trust Fund is especially important to our member programs. Agencies can apply for Housing Trust Fund money to be spent as a cornerstone in purchasing, renovation, or building. The need is not being met, however, as we continue to hear that communities across the state are experiencing housing shortages. Increased funding could also expand our membership’s ability to incorporate a Domestic Violence Housing First (DVHF) housing philosophy. When organizations have their own housing facilities or strong partnerships with community affordable housing providers, they can directly provide more choices to survivors.
We need your help to make sure solutions to the housing and homelessness crisis pass through the Washington Legislature. Thank you for your advocacy!