Senator Murray Announces over $600,000 to get Washington State Homeless Families into Permanent Housing Quickly

Feb 20 2009

Funding comes from Rapid Re-housing program that Murray established to move families from shelters to permanent supportive housing

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chairman of the Senate Housing Appropriations Subcommittee, announced that $656,639 has been awarded to help re-house homeless families in Washington state under a program that she established. The funding for Washington state will go to the Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development (CDTED) to move homeless families quickly out of shelters and into permanent supportive housing. Senator Murray established the Rapid Re-housing demonstration program in the 2008 Housing Appropriations bill. Over $23 million was awarded today under the program which is being administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

“Getting families out of shelters and into permanent housing is the first step to getting them back on their feet,” said Senator Murray. “This funding will help homeless families throughout our state access rental assistance, childcare, and other supportive services. With the recession and foreclosures forcing more families out into the street, this announcement couldn’t come at a more critical time.  I am so proud that the Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development has been selected by HUD to participate in this important pilot program.  Their selection is a recognition of their experience, expertise and innovative approach to serving Washington’s homeless residents.”

“It is very fortunate that Washington state will receive these additional resources at a time when our local communities are facing some very sobering and harsh economic news. This bit of bright news confirms that we are at the forefront of fighting homelessness,” said Gov. Chris Gregoire. “Swift re-housing of families who have lost their homes is vital to help them regain a sense of security and to the economic future of our communities. I want to thank Sen. Murray for securing these funds. This new pilot program fits well with our priorities of creating safe and healthy communities across our state.”

The Rapid Re-housing demonstration program was initiated by Senator Murray in the FY2008 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations bill.  The initiative was designed to bring more attention to the issue of family homelessness and to devote new resources to the latest approaches to ending family homelessness.  Rapid re-housing programs move families quickly out of shelters and into permanent supportive housing.  Limiting the time that families and children have to spend in shelters is important because they can negatively impact homeless children.  Funding provided as part of this initiative can be used for short-term rental assistance as well as a range of services including case management and childcare. Funding was also included as part of this initiative to collect and analyze data on these programs, so we can continue to evaluate the best models for serving homeless families.