So much has happened this week with the passage of HB 1236 and SB 5160 yesterday! Now the final bill of the eviction prevention package this session, HB 1277, is up for a vote in Ways & Means tomorrow -- and we CANNOT take this one for granted. HB 1277 increases the state document recording fee in order to fund rental assistance, homelessness prevention, eviction prevention services, and operations & maintenance of Permanent Supportive Housing. We need another big push between now and the vote tomorrow to ensure it passes out of committee in strong shape.
Will you send a quick email today? We can do this -- let's go!
It’s springtime, but we’re already looking ahead to election season! In odd numbered years like this, most elections are local – city councils, county councils, mayors, etc. Is there an election coming up in your community where you think the Housing Alliance Action Fund should consider an endorsement? Let us know!
Local elected officials have the power to implement solutions to the affordable housing crisis like housing levies, they make decisions about where affordable apartments, shelter, and permanent supportive housing can be built, they pass local ordinances about how communities respond to people living without shelter, they decide how much of the local budget is spent for human service, and more. And they often move from local office to running for state and even federal offices. Who we elect to local positions is so important!
This year the Housing Action Fund will make endorsements in local races for the 2021 election. We need to hear from our housing advocates. That means YOU! You know best about what is happening in your area. Which races do you think are important for us to weigh in on? What do you know about your local races that we don’t?
We’ll be making endorsements and supporting candidates in races where the outcome could have a significant impact on affordable housing and efforts to end homelessness. Your request does not guarantee activity by the Housing Action Fund. If we move forward with your request, we will contact you to ask about your ability to volunteer to support endorsed candidates in your region and to help engage others in your community. If there’s a local race that we should consider, please let us know by April 19 by completing this form.
Tell your lawmakers – fund rental assistance, affordable homes, and more!
Join us in banding together and demanding change - with over 23,000 of our neighbors in Washington without a stable place to call home and well over 211,000 at risk of losing their homes, these changes are past due! With only 3 more weeks in the legislative session, we need to push hard to get these final bills and bold budgets through. Join us this week to urge lawmakers to take a stand and push for a more equitable Washington.
HB 1277, which would create an ongoing emergency rental assistance program and fund operations and maintenance for permanent supportive housing, has a big hearing in Senate Ways & Means! This is arguably the bill’s biggest hurdle yet, and we need a big push to move it out of committee and to the Senate floor.
The final Capital Budget must match the Senate’s proposal of $205 million for the Housing Trust Fund and $90 million for the rapid acquisition of properties for emergency shelter and affordable housing.
The final Operating Budget must match the visionary House proposal that increases funding for Housing and Essential Needs, provides over $1 billion in emergency rental assistance, funds homeless shelter capacity grants with $35 million, increases funding for operations and maintenance of permanent supportive housing, increases funding for the Anchor Communities Initiative, and more!
Your help is needed! Will you please email your lawmakers and ask them to pass HB 1277 and make bold community investments in the budget?
Advocates, this has been a wild week of action, passion and results! Monday ended with a gut punch in which we thought that, after a chaotic floor vote, HB 1236 might be suddenly dead. But our movement is not one to give up. Throughout the week, advocates sprung into action while our lawmaker champions and fierce policy leaders worked on new amendments to revive the bill and get it across the finish line in strong shape. Altogether, with the support of 27 volunteers and staff, the Housing Alliance hosted three days of phone banking and text banking for both HB 1277 and HB 1236, resulting in 621 phone calls, 349 voicemails left, and 115 people calling their Senators. Meanwhile, over 600 people emailed their Senators about HB 1236! We heard from Senators that they were receiving lots of calls in favor of the bill. Your quick mobilization and dedication truly made a difference, and on Thursday afternoon -- after voting down Sen. Mullet's original striking amendment and adopting a new negotiated striker -- the bill passed the Senate 28-21!
Later Thursday night, the House ran SB 5160 (right to counsel and other tenant protections) for a final vote as well! They had been holding the bill until after HB 1236 was voted on for strategic reasons, and now the opportunity was right. Although the bill did take an unfortunate amendment ending the state eviction moratorium on June 30, 2021, we are very happy to report that the bill passed out of the House! Stay tuned for next steps on concurrence and final passage.
Our advocacy this session has been on point from the beginning, not only on a statewide level but in key communities across Washington. On HB 1236, more than 46 different advocates signed up to testify live in hearings, and many more submitted written testimony. This does not include the THOUSANDS of people who signed in "Pro" on the bill, far outweighing the opposition. SB 5160 also garnered massive support from our community, with more than 50 different advocates signing up to testify live, and again thousands who signed in "Pro." A special shout out to those directly impacted by these bills who stepped into their power and shared their stories to lawmakers and to the public, including Arianna, Mindy, Chris, Shura, Tara, Amber, Shannon, Dominique, Ren, Jessica, Leah, Firelands advocates and many more! There are too many special shoutouts to name now, but thank you to everyone who has dedicated their time and energy to making these bills a reality.
Now stay tuned for this weekend, because HB 1277 is scheduled for a vote in Senate Ways & Means. We need another big push to make sure this one passes out in good shape. Please sign your organization on to our letter to the committee by 4:30pm today, and send an email in support!
Join Us To Help Bring Washington Home!
Our movement showed its strength and compassion in ways we never expected would be necessary before 2020. Homelessness service providers responded heroically to the crisis, quickly moving people into safer shelters. Affordable housing providers kept people safe by delivering meals, masks, and information to vulnerable residents. Local and state government leaders quickly set up new programs to deliver assistance to people struggling to pay rent. And thousands of people across the state raised a resounding collective voice over the last year to keep people safe, healthy, and housed during the pandemic.
Join us to celebrate what we've accomplished together and to gear up for the work ahead.
There is no cost to attend but all guests will be invited to make a personally meaningful contribution to power our work to make sure everyone in Washington has a safe, affordable place to live.
To serve as a virtual table captain or learn about sponsorship opportunities, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.