Press Center

Tacoma mayor to address record-breaking crowd at this week’s 25th Annual Conference on Ending Homelessness

Over 820 participants, an unprecedented number in the conference’s 25 years, are registered to attend the 2015 Conference on Ending Homelessness from May 13-14, at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center. Each year, the statewide advocacy coalition Washington Low Income Housing Alliance organizes this conference that alternates between eastern and western Washington. Conference hosts are also honored to have Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland start the conference off with the opening keynote address.

As more Washington cities declare housing crises, advocates from all over gather in Olympia for legislative solutions.

The Housing Alliance has organized a full day, including legislator meetings, advocacy workshops, and a rally on the north steps of the Capitol Building. The Advocacy Day rally will feature a bipartisan slate of speakers who share our housing and homelessness concerns: Sen. Cyrus Habib (D-Kirkland), Sen. Steve O’Ban (R-University Place), Rep. June Robinson (D-Everett), and Rep. Maureen Walsh (R-Walla Walla).

Statewide Agencies Propose Funding Cuts & Elimination of Services Affecting Thousands of the State’s Disabled Individuals

In recent budget proposals released by state agencies to the Governor’s Office, three programs that help thousands of disabled individuals across the state are slated to receive substantial cuts.

Advocates for children, families oppose cuts to services to fund McCleary

Advocates for children and families have filed an Amicus Curiae brief with the state Supreme Court, opposing one of the Court’s proposed remedies in the McCleary v. Washington case. The Children’s Alliance, Columbia Legal Services and the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance filed the brief this morning. The brief requests that, as the state moves to comply with the Court’s ruling, it refrain from funding education in a way that jeopardizes housing and other basic services to children and families.

Washington Low Income Housing Alliance Announces 5th Annual Advocacy Celebration Awardees

U.S. Senator Patty Murray joins the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance (Housing Alliance) in celebrating the 2014 awardees of our “Bringing Washington Home” 5th Annual Advocacy Awards Celebration. • Grassroots Leader of the Year: Shelby Powell, Multimedia Artist and Advocate • Individual Advocate of the Year: Ellie Lambert, Homeless Network of Yakima County • Organizational Advocate of the Year: YWCA of Seattle-King-Snohomish and Firesteel • Lawmaker of the Year: State Representative David Sawyer (29th LD — Tacoma) • Hero for Homes: State Senator Jeannie Darneille (27th LD — Tacoma) • Hero for Homes: State Senator David Frockt (46th LD — Tacoma)

Yakima to host the state’s largest conference dedicated to ending homelessness across Washington

Over 620 homelessness and housing providers and advocates from around the state will converge in Yakima this Wednesday and Thursday for the 2014 Conference on Ending Homelessness. Each year, the statewide advocacy coalition Washington Low Income Housing Alliance hosts this conference that alternates between eastern and western Washington. This conference, in its twenty-fourth year, will offer a dynamic mix of sessions, speakers, and exhibits—all focused on ensuring everyone in Washington has access to a safe, healthy, and affordable home.

National report shows rental homes continue to remain “Out of Reach” for minimum wage earners in Seattle and the rest of the state

If you make minimum wage ($9.32) in Seattle, you’ll need to work 64 hours a week to afford the average studio apartment, a slight increase from last year. This is one of the many findings from the Out of Reach 2014 report, jointly released by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) and the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance (Housing Alliance) today, March 24, 2014.

SB 5875 rescues homeless housing funding and more work still needed to make it permanent

The Washington Low Income Housing Alliance (Housing Alliance) is grateful for the serious attention and hard work by the Governor, legislators, and advocates on the issue of funding housing and services for people experiencing homelessness. SSB 5875 reauthorizes document recording fees, ensuring that for the next five years, shelters around the state won’t be closing, and services to prevent and triage homelessness will remain available. However, improvements still need to be made.

Advocates from all over Washington will sound a gong 5,043 times to draw attention to homelessness and key homelessness funding legislation ESHB 2368

Advocates from all over Washington will sound a gong 5,043 times to draw attention to homelessness and key homelessness funding legislation ESHB 2368. At the north steps of the Legislative Building, people will take turns ringing a gong exactly 5,043 times to recognize the 5,043 individuals found sleeping outside at night across the state during the January 2013 point-in-time count. This number also represents the number of homeless people on the streets because shelters are full. But the number of people experiencing unsheltered homelessness is likely higher because people sleeping outside tend to hide for their safety. We are also holding a press conference to draw attention to House Bill 2368, aka the “Homeless Housing & Assistance Surcharge Bill” or “Document Recording Fee Bill.” This legislation eliminates the expiration dates of fees charged on real estate documents. The fee is set to reduce by $10 in July 2015 and reduce by another $20 in July 2017. This would wipe out 62.5% of total state funding for homelessness.

As families across Washington State find homes out of reach, hundreds gather in Olympia for more affordable homes and an end to homelessness

Widening inaccessibility to affordable homes and an increase in homeless young people across the state, means these issues have become a huge priority for communities across the state. Last year, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction found more than 27,000 homeless young students across Washington with the largest jumps in young people who are “doubled-up”, which means couch-surfing or staying at the home of relatives or neighbors. In addition, the National Low Income Housing Coalition found that for every 100 extremely low-income families in the state earning less than $23,400 a year for a family of three, only 47 affordable apartments are available. These two facts taken together means the legislature must act to help create affordable homes and fund successful programs that transition people off of the streets into safe, healthy, affordable homes. This is also why this year’s theme is “…It All Starts at Home…” Advocates are increasingly making the connections between having a home and positive education and even healthcare outcomes.

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