City Budget 2018 - accomplishments
- Promise of a new tax on large businesses to fund housing and homeless services, raising no less than $25 million per year, to be passed before the end of March 2018. On Monday, November 20th, after approving the 2018 budget, the council passed: A RESOLUTION establishing a process by which the City of Seattle will determine new progressive revenues including an Employee Hours Tax, expressing the City Council’s intent to impose such potential revenues, and expressing the City’s Council’s intent to make investments with these revenues that would assist people who are homeless or at high risk of becoming homeless in obtaining and retaining stable housing.
- New transparency and accountability for removals of unauthorized encampments, a.k.a. sweeps. Henceforth the Executive will have to submit to the Council a weekly report detailing all encampment removals planned for the following week, along with reasons for their prioritization. Although this proviso stops short of limiting encampment removals, the new layer of oversight is likely to significantly improve the situation on the ground. The Executive must also provide a report on the encampment removal process by April 6, 2018, setting the Council up for further-reaching reform such as legislation to limit encampment removals. A separate proviso passed with the budget limits fencing related to unauthorized encampments.
- $450,000 to support authorized encampments. This funding will provide more adequate support to existing authorized encampments and tiny house villages, and make possible the establishment of two new sites.
Additionally, the support of Housing For All helped to win:
- $500,000 for a Homeless Youth and/or Young Adults Opportunity Center and Housing Project at Broadway & Pine on Capitol Hill.
- $150,000 to fund exploration of community ownership housing models.
- Passage of a tax on short-term rentals such as AirBnB, with at least $5M per year going to fund the Equitable Development Initiative to support community-driven projects.
- $750,000 to expand the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program to north Seattle.
- $1.3 million for Seattle’s first safe consumption site.