Vulnerable members of our community include individuals with disabilities, families with children, young people, veterans, and people escaping domestic violence. Some vulnerable individuals have chronic health conditions, mental illness, and frequency use emergency services. The levy would house individuals who are the most vulnerable.
People With Disabilities
As rents increase and institutional care declines, people who live with developmental disabilities, mental illness, and other disabilities often experience homelessness. The Home Fund will create opportunities for our neighbors with disabilities to live with dignity & independence in homes they can afford. Supportive services provided on site will assist them to achieve stability and security in their homes.
Parents, particularly single parents, who live with disabilities struggle to pay rent & have enough money for other necessities. Homelessness among vulnerable families affects the health, wellbeing, and education of their children. The Home Fund will build homes that are affordable to families on fixed incomes.
Youth who have aged out of foster care, young LGBTQ people, and young people with disabilities face incredible danger when they experience homelessness. The Home Fund will give these young people a chance to succeed by offering homes they can afford and services to help them achieve independence.
The Home Fund aims to reduce homelessness for the most vulnerable members of our community. It is a vital component of the local 10 Year Homeless Housing plan and will support community-wide efforts to reduce and end homelessness.
Seniors (61 and older) and people with disabilities who make less than $40,000 are eligible for a property tax exemption and will not be affected by this levy.
New and refurbished housing units will be built and acquired through both nonprofit and private housing developers. Examples - Housing Authority of Thurston County, Homes First and Low Income Housing Institute.
Housing programs funded by the sales tax will be scattered throughout the city and will primarily be located near major bus lines.
Olympia has established a delivery systems for funding proven housing programs that work for the most vulnerable households. The system desperately needs more resources, resources that a housing sales tax will provide.
A special fund will be created by Olympia as a result of this sales tax for the collected money, so no money collected by Olympia as a result of this tax will go into the City's general fund.
The allocation of the proposed Housing Fund is as follows:
- Increase Housing Supply (72%): Through a competitive grant process, the sales tax provides funds to developers and nonprofits to rehabilitate, preserve, and build new affordable and supportive housing.
- Operations & Support Services (15%): Provides funds to operate the newly constructed units and to provide case management and other support for vulnerable adults and children.
- Implementation (8%): Resources for staff to develop contracts, manage the program, and conduct monitoring for compliance.
- Rent Assistance (5%): Provides funds for rent vouchers and self-sufficiency services, primarily via rapid rehousing and shelter diversion programs.
8. Housing doesn't seem to the complete answer to homelessness as there are other drivers such as mental illness and substance abuse. What about those problems?
Housing is the starting point for reducing homelessness. That is why 72% of the proposed funding will be used for to rehabilitate, preserve, and build new affordable housing units. An additional 15% will be used for operations and support services which will leverage other funding resources and to coordinate with existing mental health services to support people’s success once they have a stable place to call home. 8% will be used to administer the program and 5% will be available for rental assistance to help prevent homelessness.