After Mayor Jenny Durkan took office in November, she is now putting forth her first piece of mayor legislation for a proposal to fund programs for the homeless. The city is planning to sell a piece of South Lake Union property at 1933 Minor Avenue in the near future and expects to collect $11 million from the sale. Durkan proposes using half of those proceeds to fund short-term programs such as building new tiny houses and supporting a rental housing assistance program.
“Looking at the sale of the property we’re talking about today, I had a simple question. What can we do with the sale of the property to improve our position on homelessness?” Durkan said at a press conference. “It is not a parcel that lends itself to building our own housing because of the size of its proximity to different places, so wanted to make sure we could squeeze as much as we could out of this property.”
Of the $5.5 million Durkan wants to use for this proposal, approximately $2 million would cover the rental housing assistance program, where 150 people are currently on a waitlist for subsidized housing. Other projects include building 1,000 new tiny houses, an idea that was kickstarted during Mayor Ed Murray’s administration where tiny houses were allowed to be built in sanctioned encampments.
Durkan further plans to develop a sub-cabinet within the city’s Department of Housing to identify the best locations for shelters and new transitional housing.
The remaining $5.5 million from the sale would cover the cost to relocate the city’s IT communication shop, which is currently located at 1933 Minor Avenue, and design a new fire station.
Today, Mayor Durkan asked the Seattle City Council to pass a resolution to designate these funds according to her proposal. The results are forthcoming.