Mayor Jenny Durkan and County Executive Dow Constantine, flanked by providers involved in homelessness services and election officials, announced legislation to create the King County Regional Homeless Authority (KCRHA), a new body meant to coordinate the response to homelessness.
If approved, KCRHA will take over responsibility for many of the components of the homelessness response, including oversight of shelters and coordination of outreach, diversion, shelter, rapid rehousing, transitional housing and permanent supportive housing services. It will also deal with homelessness prevention.
A new Office of the Ombuds would provide oversight over the new authority and a place for people receiving services to go with complaints.
Notably, efforts to build housing will not be included, nor will Seattle’s Navigation Team, a body of police officers and outreach workers engaged in homelessness sweeps and offers of service.
Under the proposal, Seattle will kick in $73 million to support the new authority and King County will add $55 million roughly $3.8 million in startup funds.
The creation of KCRHA is meant to resolve fragmentation in the system. Previously, Seattle and King County managed their own programs.
The ordinance has yet to be approved by King County Council and the Seattle City Council, which officials hope will be accomplished by the fall, according to the press release. Should that occur, a process will begin to form a governing body and hire leadership. Under the current timeline, the new executive will continue the work of building the new authority during 2020.
Ashley Archibald is a Staff Reporter covering local government, policy and equity. Have a story idea? She can be can reached at ashleya (at) realchangenews (dot) org. Follow Ashley on Twitter @AshleyA_RC
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