Senator Murray: “Every person, regardless of age, deserves a safe place to call home—it’s great to see this life-changing funding go to critical housing programs that will help foster youth and seniors in Washington state keep a roof over their heads”
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced more than $6 million in multiple competitive grant awards from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for public housing authorities (PHAs) and organizations in Seattle, Tacoma, and King County.
“Every person, regardless of age, deserves a safe place to call home—it’s great to see this life-changing funding go to critical housing programs that will help foster youth and seniors in Washington state keep a roof over their heads,” said Senator Murray. “While this is an important step in the right direction, there are still so many others in our state who continue to face housing insecurity and homelessness. I’m going to keep fighting for historic investments in affordable housing to keep people safe, secure, and housed as part of our Build Back Better budget.”
The Housing Authorities of Seattle, Tacoma, and King County will receive funds through Housing Choice Vouchers (HCVs) for the Foster Youth to Independence (FYI) initiative. FYI makes HCV assistance available to public housing authorities in partnership with public child welfare agencies (PCWAs). Under FYI, these PHAs will receive funding to help house homeless youth. Tacoma Housing Authority will receive $859,464, Seattle Housing Authority will receive $1,191,375, and King County Housing Authority will receive $1,189,624.
“The Seattle Housing Authority appreciates the leadership of Senator Murray in securing nearly $1.2 million to increase SHA’s ability to house young people exiting the foster care system,” said Seattle Housing Authority Executive Director Rod Brandon. “We’re excited that with this support we can provide stable housing for hundreds more young people working to recover from significant trauma in their lives, and can connect them to opportunities to pursue further education, employment and services. We are very fortunate to have an effective champion in Senator Murray, who understands that housing is core to achieving success in life.”
“We’d like to thank Senator Murray and her team for advocating for these much-needed resources for Tacoma youth exiting foster care. We are excited to work with our partners at Comprehensive Life Resources and the Washington State Department of Children Youth and Families (DCYF) to quickly use these 75 new vouchers in our community,” said Julie LaRocque, Tacoma Housing Authority’s Interim Deputy Executive Director.
The Supportive Housing for the Elderly program provides funding awards to private, nonprofit housing sponsors to finance the development of housing for very low-income elderly residents. The Korean Women’s Association in Tacoma is receiving a $3,260,294 award to support the production of 20 units of affordable housing for very low-income elderly households in Tacoma. Senator Murray wrote a letter of support in favor of the award to the Korean Women’s Association.
“We are grateful to the office of Senator Murray for their support and collaboration in receiving Section 202 Supportive Housing funds, which will be critical in bringing 20 units of affordable housing to downtown Tacoma. Their letter of support in our newest housing project application demonstrated their belief in our projects ability to bring much-needed affordable housing to low-income elderly residents in the area,” said Yoni Yi, Korean Women’s Association Board Chair.
“The receipt of this award was made in large part because of the Senators belief in our project and ability to provide very low-income elderly households with affordable housing. Senator Murray fought on our behalf for this highly competitive funding request and we are grateful for her hard work and trust in our mission,” said Chongsun Abbott, Korean Women’s Association Board Treasurer.
After a year of Senator Murray advocating for increased housing assistance to combat the effects of the pandemic on renters, homeowners, and people experiencing homelessness, the American Rescue Plan passed in March of 2021 and included more than $400 million in rental assistance, $170 million in homeowner assistance, and nearly $100 million for housing and services to support people experiencing homelessness in Washington state specifically. Senator Murray is now advocating for a major investment in affordable housing as part of Democrats’ Build Back Better budget, in order to address the housing crisis that existed in Washington state before the pandemic, and which has only been exacerbated by COVID-19.