Housing authority an important partner for Trinity Place

It was with pleasure that I read the April 15 Herald article about travel guru Rick Steves’ generous act of philanthropy when he donated Trinity Place to the YWCA to house people in need. What a terrific example of the good work a private philanthropist and nonprofit can do when they work together.

But there was another critical partner involved that has helped to make Trinity Place possible. As the article mentioned, the rent is paid by housing vouchers provided by the Housing Authority of Snohomish County. This makes Trinity Place a great example of a public/private partnership. Since the inception of the project in 2005, this federal assistance has provided more than $1.3 million to the YWCA to operate and maintain the apartments. Without this assistance, now valued at approximately $150,000 per year, it would be impossible to operate this project.

The Housing Authority has provided this type of rental assistance to many similar supportive housing projects around the county, including those developed by Housing Hope and Catholic Housing Services.

Normally we are content to be a silent partner and let others such as Mr. Steves and the YWCA get the credit they so richly deserve. But during times like this, when HUD is facing crippling budget cuts that threaten these types of programs, I believe it is my duty to point out what a critically important partner housing authorities have been in making these projects work. People that care about these housing programs should make their voices heard with their congressional representatives, to preserve this resource for the most vulnerable in our community.

Duane Leonard

executive director

Housing Authority of Snohomish County

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