Housing projects depend on capital budget passage by Jan. 17

Communities throughout Snohomish County and around the state are struggling with an affordable housing and homelessness crisis. Yet funding to build income-restricted homes was held up last year by the Senate Republican leadership’s refusal to pass a capital budget unless a water rights issue was addressed first.

You will have to ask them why these issues were linked last year and continue to be linked by them this year. In the meantime, two more affordable housing projects in Snohomish County are in jeopardy unless a capital budget is passed by Jan. 17. That is the cutoff date for applications to a federal program called the 9 percent tax credit program.

Compass Health is proposing to house 60-plus chronically mentally ill in a new facility and the Everett Housing Authority is planning for 60-plus units of housing for homeless families with children. Neither of these projects will move forward without a capital budget putting millions of dollars of additional outside investment in Snohomish County at risk as well as dozens of well-paying construction jobs.

Helping people who are experiencing homelessness and providing safe, stable and affordable housing to those trying to put their lives back together are part of what make us a community rather than just a collection of individuals. Please join with me in urging passage of a capital budget by Jan. 17.

Mark Smith

Housing Consortium of Everett and Snohomish County

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