News Releases

New Mainstream Housing Vouchers awarded across Washington state as part of 2018 funding bill that Senator Murray helped secure

Combined funding totals more than $8.6 million in housing assistance for non-elderly people with disabilities and their families 

More on housing for people with disabilities in WA: “Once a safeguard against homelessness, disability payments can’t keep up with the rent” – Read more from Crosscut HERE

Senator Murray: “This funding will help provide independence and security for so many Washingtonians with disabilities, from Seattle to Vancouver to Omak”

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the top Democrat on the Senate health committee, joined local leaders from Clark to Okanogan counties to announce more than $8.6 million in federal funds across Washington state to ensure adult Washingtonians with disabilities and their families have the resources necessary to secure safe, secure, stable housing. The vouchers will fund local initiatives to help non-elderly, people with disabilities who are at risk of institutionalization or homelessness access affordable housing and other support services, helping them live independently within their communities. The money comes from new Mainstream Housing Vouchers, which are awarded on a competitive basis and funded through a 2018 spending bill that Senator Murray helped to pass in the Senate.

“We know the importance of stable housing to the health and well-being of people with disabilities, and I’m glad to see this federal investment flow to vulnerable Washingtonians,” Senator Murray said. “This funding will help provide independence and security for so many Washingtonians with disabilities—including those facing homelessness or at risk of institutionalization—from Seattle to Vancouver to Omak, and beyond. As an advocate for people with disabilities and those facing housing insecurity in Washington state and across the country, I won’t stop fighting to get our communities the resources and support they need to live and thrive.”

This round of Mainstream Vouchers will provide an estimated $150 million in funding to house an additional 18,000 families across the country. As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Murray was instrumental in securing the increased funding.

See a full breakdown of federal awards going to Washington state below:

 

State

Public Housing Agency

County

Award Amount

WA

Housing Authority of King County

King

$2,386,027

WA

Housing Authority of Snohomish County

Snohomish

$1,508,832

WA

Housing Authority of the City of Vancouver

Clark

$1,005,288

WA

Housing Authority City of Everett

Snohomish          

$743,436

WA

Seattle Housing Authority

King

$711,023

WA

Housing Authority City of Tacoma

Pierce             

$612,641

WA

Housing Authority City of Longview

Cowlitz

$403,870

WA

Housing Authority of Okanogan County

Okanogan

$393,570

WA

Housing Authority City of Renton

King

$340,608

WA

Housing Authority City of Yakima

Yakima

$296,634

WA

Columbia Gorge Housing Authority

Wasco

$188,345

WA

Housing Authority City of Kennewick

Benton

$79,397

 

See some quotes from grant recipients in Washington state, below:

“These vouchers will enable KCHA to support the development of supportive housing for our community’s homeless and most vulnerable residents. We deeply appreciate the support Congress is providing, and the leadership of Senator Murray, in making this possible.” Said Stephen Norman, the Executive Director of the King County Housing Authority.

“What excites us most about these awards of new vouchers to our agencies is that by the end of 2020, more than 160 of our most vulnerable households will be safely and affordably housed in our community.” Duane Leonard, Executive Director of Housing Authority of Snohomish County, and Ashley Lommers-Johnson, Executive Director of Everett Housing Authority, said in a joint statement.

“Vancouver Housing Authority (VHA) is very excited to receive additional vouchers for the very vulnerable population that is served with mainstream vouchers,” said Roy Johnson, the Executive Director of the Vancouver Housing Authority. Any opportunity to provide stable housing for homeless individuals with disabilities relieves them of the worries of where to sleep and lets them focus on other needs that are often neglected when they do not have a permanent address. Currently VHA has 132 households that are benefiting from the mainstream program and we anticipate another 100 with the funds being made available for housing homeless individuals with disabilities in Clark County.”

“We are grateful for Senator Murray’s leadership and the resources that will be coming to Seattle through this award of Mainstream Vouchers,” said Seattle Housing Authority Executive Director Andrew J. Lofton. These vouchers will help address the affordable housing crisis we are facing and will allow us to serve more individuals with disabilities experiencing homelessness. In these times of housing crisis, we applaud the Senator’s championing the need for more resources for affordable housing in Washington.”

“THA and its partners, Pierce County Department of Human Services and the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, welcome these additional housing vouchers.  We will put them to very good use.  They will pay to house people presently in nursing homes or other institutions, but who can move out if only they had housing.  These vouchers will pay to house people experiencing homelessness, helping them move out of the parks, streets, cars and abandoned buildings.  These vouchers will allow people to move out of supportive housing when they no longer need its services, freeing up that housing for people who do.  In all these ways, these vouchers will strengthen Tacoma and Pierce County’s response to the crisis shortage of affordable housing.  We are grateful to Senator Murray.  She has the detailed understanding of her communities that allows her to explain to others what is at stake.  That allowed her to make this award possible.” Said Michael Mirra, Tacoma Housing Authority Executive Director.

“Housing Opportunities of Southwest Washington is grateful to receive an award for Mainstream Vouchers. These vouchers will benefit non-elderly disabled persons in Cowlitz, Lewis, Pacific and Wahkiakum Counties who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. We are looking forward to working with our many partners in these four counties to provide assistance to this vulnerable population.” Said Jennifer Westerman, CEO of Housing Opportunities of Southwest Washington.

“The Housing Authority of Okanogan County (HAOC) is thrilled to be among the recipients of additional Mainstream vouchers. We know that the award process was highly competitive, which makes news of the award that much more meaningful. The Mainstream vouchers assist non-elderly persons with disabilities to obtain permanent housing. Currently, those in our county who qualify for assistance under the Mainstream voucher program may wait for years to receive their vouchers, as HAOC has had only 165 Section 8 vouchers available. The Section 8 wait list here has been closed for over two years and there are over 300 families on the list.  With these new Mainstream vouchers, many disabled individuals from the wait list will receive vouchers and begin searching for a place to call home. We look forward to assisting disabled individuals live more successfully in our community.” Said Nancy Nash-Mendez, Executive Director of the Housing Authority of Okanogan County

"This award of rental assistance vouchers for people living with a disability, will vastly improve the quality of life for individuals, who have a much harder time remaining stable in sensibly priced homes,” said Mark Gropper, Executive Director of the Renton Housing Authority. “The Housing Authority of the City of Renton will act quickly to contact eligible clients from our waitlist. Then work closely with them, and our host of great landlords, to expedite their success for moving into a qualifying home of their choosing."

“Currently, there are over 150 individuals, that would likely qualify for the 811 Mainstream vouchers, on the waitlist for Housing Choice Vouchers in Yakima and Kittitas Counties alone.  By being awarded these vouchers, these individuals will be able to obtain housing.  This is exciting for our community and helps strengthen our ability to meet and serve families who are currently or at risk of being homeless.” Said Lowell Krueger, Executive Director for Yakima Housing Authority.

“We are thankful for the leadership and support from Senator Murray who has advocated for federal investments in affordable housing solutions. The recent announcement of federal resources coming to Klickitat and Skamania Counties will assist households of non-elderly people with disabilities in obtaining an affordable place to call home. We look forward to leveraging this resource in the private rental market and collaborating with our health and human services partners to provide participants with voluntary supportive services.” Said Gabe Spencer, Columbia Gorge Housing Authority Chair.

“We are delighted to receive a mainstream voucher allocation. This will allow us to serve persons with disabilities who are coming out of institutions, or who are at risk for homeless or who are homeless in our community. This will allow us to continue to serve existing clients or increase the service based upon our community needs.” Said Lona Hammer, Executive Director for Housing Authority City of Kennewick.

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