Seattle will receive more than $ 12 million from the federal government’s $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus aid package known as the American Rescue Program, the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Thursday.
Other Kings counties, along with the county government, will have to spend an additional $ 13.8 million.
The $ 5 billion in local government funds to be used to cover the cost of homelessness can be spent on a range of projects, from hotel shelters to homeless shelters. And unlike previous short-term epidemiological assistance grants, the money will not run out until 2030, allowing local governments to fund homeless solutions to overcome the current crisis.
HUD Secretary Marcia Fadge said she was optimistic that targeting homelessness in aid funding, such as President Biden’s proposals for the American Work Plan, and affordable federally funded housing over the next eight years, could eradicate homelessness. HUD plans to provide $ 5 billion in emergency housing vouchers in the coming weeks.
Fadge also stressed the need to use new tools to build low-income or ancillary housing, rather than building crowded, large-scale housing that poses a greater risk of spreading the infection.
“We want to get people out of their shelters, put them in stable, permanent residence,” Fadge said. “So we hope the shelters will disappear, as we do today.”
Mayor Jenny Durkan was working with King County on a plan to distribute new federal funds, the mayor’s spokesman said, announcing such a plan in the coming weeks.
Planning to inject new federal dollars for homelessness, the city announced last month that it had set up a third hotel to house the homeless, valued at at least $ 5 million in rental services.
In March, the City Council approved spending $ 12 million separately for homeless people on small hotel rooms and homes, hoping the money would be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Council member Andrew Lewis, who chairs the council’s homeless committee, said he hoped the new money could be spent on buying property for permanent housing.
“When we get that kind of money from HUD to help us, the big priority is to figure out how we can increase the cost of getting more brick-and-mortar apartments,” Lewis said.