The Governor at the Bremerton Homelessness Round Table Nov. 2019
Housing Champion Focus: Governor Jay Inslee
The Governor is a fifth-generation Washingtonian who grew up in Seattle and along with his wife, Trudi raised his three sons in Selah near Yakima while he worked as an attorney and prosecutor. Before becoming the Governor in 2012, he was the State Representative for the 14th Legislative District and a member of Congress.
Over these years, Governor Inslee has truly been a housing champion. “As I travel through Washington communities — from rural areas to mid-size towns to big cities — I hear about the homeless crisis from local leaders, service providers and the individuals themselves. While situations vary, it is clear that Washingtonians agree we need to do more to bring people inside. We must have a response that matches the scale of the crisis.”
Last December, Governor Inslee released a bold and visionary 2021-2023 Biennial Budget Proposal. It includes the kind of investments needed to keep people in their homes and make more affordable housing and shelter available across the state. His proposed budget included $250 million for the state Housing Trust Fund, $328 million for rental assistance, $70 million to buy hotels, motels, and other underused properties and convert them into shelter and permanent housing. Overall, his proposal included more than $750 million in new funding for affordable housing and preventing homelessness. “My focus is on helping our state recover from the health and economic impacts of the pandemic,” Inslee said. “I also want to continue to make investments in all the programs that people need to help them through these times. This is not the time for budget cuts — this is a time for investing in Washington.”
We are fortunate to have a strong housing champion leading our state’s COVID-19 response, and ensuring that people don’t lost their homes during a global pandemic!
For more on Jay Inslee, visit his website.
Also, check out the Governor's Medium article.
Photo credit: Alex Lockett, BrewCity Flash Photography
We are very excited that Duaa-Rahemaah Williams has joined our team! As the new Statewide Organizer she will work with leaders and members of the Resident Action Project (RAP) to build power with people impacted by housing insecurity and homelessness throughout Washington.
Duaa-Rahemaah, can you tell us where you are located and what you did before coming to the Housing Alliance?
I was born and raised in King County and currently live in Spokane. I have both lived experience of homelessness and housing instability and a B.A.S. (Bachelor’s in Arts and Science) in Applied Behavioral Science. I have worked as a case manager for families, veterans, and those needing supportive services. I worked as an Emergency Assistance Specialist providing financial assistance to get people into housing as well as preventing people from being evicted. I have done some organizing, however I never considered myself an organizer. An advocate yes, an organizer no. I did get the honor to organize and plan a resource event for families and the community for the BPC (Black Prisoner Caucus.) I encouraged family and friends of those incarcerated to be a voice for their loved ones, by becoming part of the local family council.
What brought you to the Housing Alliance?
I have participated in Housing and Homelessness Advocacy Days and the Conference on Ending Homeless for some years now. In 2019 I had the honor to participate on two panels on housing and criminal barriers and housing and intersections hosted by the Housing Alliance in Olympia. I really respect the work that the Housing Alliance does around housing and homelessness issues. Housing advocacy is a passion of mine, as well as talking and meeting new people. When this job came across my desk, I knew in my spirit that it was for me!
What do you hope to do as the new Statewide Organizer and manager of the RAP program?
I want to continue to build on the foundation that has already been established, develop and encourage new leaders and start new RAP chapters across Washington.
If you’re interested in learning more about our RAP, reach out to Duaa-Raheema at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Advocates, we need the Senate to pass HB 1277/Ormsby off the floor ASAP. Will you send an email today?
HB 1277 has passed out of Senate Ways & Means, and we need a big push to get the bill pulled to the floor for a final vote! HB 1277 is a critical piece of legislation to prevent an increase in homelessness. While significant one-time rental assistance is coming into Washington from the federal government, many low-income renters will need an ongoing safety net. In fact, more than 400,000 renters are currently caught up on rent but are exhausting their savings, selling assets and maxing out credit cards to meet basic needs. This foreshadows a second, delayed crisis, by which time federal funds will likely be used up. The state must think long-term to prevent tenants from facing eviction and homelessness. HB 1277 fills this gap by funding eviction and homelessness prevention to keep people in their homes. Critically, the bill also funds operations and maintenance of permanent supportive housing. Permanent Supportive Housing is the solution to long-term unsheltered homelessness and a permanent fund source for the operations is needed to match capital investments to bring this effective solution to scale.
You can send an email by completing the form to the right. Thank you!