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Published on Friday, March 4, 2016

Governor meets with city officials to discuss affordable housing and homelessness

Governor Inslee met with city officials, Department of Commerce representatives and advocates on Friday to discuss the affordable housing and homelessness crisis cities and counties around the state are facing. Officials were given the opportunity to share their perspectives on the problem and offer solutions. It was also an opportunity to talk about how the state and local governments can work together to solve these issues. AWC would like to thank all of those who were able to attend this meeting.

Conversation coalesced around what can be done in the remaining days of the legislative session to ensure city priorities on these issues are met. Cities were encouraged to talk with their legislators about AWC priority bill SB 6239 that authorizes cities to adopt property tax exemptions to preserve affordable housing. The bill has experienced some roadblocks in the House. Officials were also encouraged to talk with their legislators about language in the Senate budget that potentially inhibits the distribution of Medicaid funds to support affordable housing and homelessness programs. You can read more about that issue here.

In addition to conversation about what can be done in the following days, there was good conversation about how cities and the state can partner long-term, and how we can develop a strategy for the 2017 legislative session. City leaders will be meeting in mid-April to continue this discussion.

As the first in what is hopefully a number of conversations on this topic, we appreciate the Governor’s attention to this issue and look forward to continuing our work with him.

Categories: Human services