With Seattle homelessness advocates continuing to debate short-term and immediate services vs. more permanent housing, the city’s Human Services Department has earmarked $1 million in bridge funding to providers of emergency shelter, hygiene services in the city.
Meanwhile, District 3 representative Kshama Sawant will hold a Tax Amazon Town Hall Tuesday night at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute to raise support for the proposed $75-million Seattle “employment tax” on businesses that is hoped will fund housing and homelessness services in Seattle.
The $1 million in “augmented” funding for Compass, LIHI – Urban Rest Stop, SHARE/WHEEL shelters, and the Seattle Indian Center comes from the city council’s decision to sell a $11 million South Lake Union property and use the proceeds, in part, to address the city’s homelessness and affordability crisis.
Despite the $1 million infusion, the direction at City Hall has been away from emergency services and an emphasis on programs that transition more people to so-called permanent housing.
The $1 million for the four service providers will be discussed by the City Council Tuesday afternoon.
Tuesday night, the Sawant town hall is a call for support for the proposed “head tax” on Seattle businesses:
Join Councilmember Kshama Sawant and the Affordable Housing Alliance for a town hall to demand the City Council pass a $150 million Employee Hours Tax (EHT) on Seattle’s biggest businesses to fund affordable housing and homeless services. As Trump and the Republicans give a $1.3 trillion tax cut windfall for big business, Seattle’s affordable housing and homelessness crisis rages on. Rents and housing prices are still out of control and a record number of people are forced to live – and die – on the streets. Seattle needs an estimated 20,000 additional affordable housing units over the next decade to begin addressing the crisis. A $150 million EHT would allow the city to build 750 affordable housing units per year and add $30 million for homeless services. Come to the affordable housing town hall and join the fight to tax big business to build affordable housing and fund homeless services!
Earlier this month, CHS reported on a contingent of small business owners — including several on Capitol Hill and the Central District — that has criticized how the proposal treats small businesses in the proposal.
A Seattle Progressive Revenue Task Force finalized its set of recommendations earlier this month for a so-called “head tax” that could raise $75 million a year to help create housing and provide homelessness services. The final recommendations pushed the amount the city should raise to an estimated $150 million — $75 million of which would come from a per-employee tax. A Seattle Housing Gap meeting in February was centered around how best to put the revenue from the tax to use.
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