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Sawant $12M Tiny House Village proposal: Public hearing Thursday night

Rev. Lawrence R. Willis, True Vine of Holiness Missionary Baptist Church at Tuesday’s gathering at True Hope Village (Image: @jonathan4212)

A Kshama Sawant led Seattle City Council committee will hold a public hearing Thursday night on the District 3 representative’s legislation to expand funding for Tiny House Villages and block relocation of existing villages.

The proposal would move $12 million to expand the villages at 20 locations across the city and scuttle plans to remove two existing villages in Georgetown and Northlake. But the legislation faced opposition over possible State Environmental Policy Act appeals before it was even introduced. The Hearing Examiner case to unwind the legal issues is still underway with a hearing scheduled for December — well after the upcoming General Election.

Sawant’s proposal would forge a path for the village expansion by exempting religious organizations from permitting requirements for encampments on property owned or controlled by them.

The tiny villages on church properties would still be subject to a set of safety and public health provisions.

There are currently nine encampments operating in the city which receive City of Seattle funds for operation, officials say. “While operating costs vary depending on the services provided by the operator, the average expenditure by the City per encampment is approximately $390,000,” a council analysis reads. “Of the approved appropriations in the 2019 Adopted Budget, approximately $4.8 million is allocated for transitional encampments.”

The plan also calls for allocating money in the 2020 city budget to the program:

This budget action allocates $10,800,000 GSF to HSD, and repurposes $1,200,000 proposed in the Mayor’s budget to be spent relocating the Georgetown and Northlake Tiny House Villages, for a total of $12,000,000 to be used to expand the number of City-funded authorized Tiny House Villages by establishing 20 additional villages across the city in 2020. The Low Income Housing Institute has estimated that for $600,000 per tiny house village, it has the capacity to open, operate, and provide services in 10 additional villages in 2020. Other organizations in Seattle such as Nickelsville, SHARE, WHEEL, and faith organizations have the capacity to open and operate the remaining 10 additional villages.

Tuesday, Sawant unveiled the plan along with faith community representatives including Rev. Robert L. Jeffrey, Sr. of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church and Rev. Angela Ying, Bethany of United Church of Christ at a rally and press conference held at the Central District’s True Hope tiny house village at 1714 E Yesler.

Thursday night’s hearing begins at 5 PM in council chambers, 600 4th Ave.

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16 thoughts on “Sawant $12M Tiny House Village proposal: Public hearing Thursday night

  1. great! do these housing villages offer services like plumbing, showers, mental health and substance abuse treatments? Can each village have a Medical/Dental/Vision professional visit weekly to help these folks feel human? Will there be educational and work placement assistance? Don’t these folks want to be contributing members to our society? The answer is YES, they do. They need help. Shelter is a good start, but we can’t shove these folks in a tiny house and expect measured results.

    • @CD Balooka

      We need more housing like Plymouth on First Hill (80 studio units), except maybe with more options for couples/families. Seems like a no-brainer to me. Tall building where each floor has many studio units for individuals and a few larger units for couples/families. Set aside some units for 24/7 live-in medical/counseling staff. Voila, you just became a hero to Seattle.

      The exact details, according to Plymouth Housing’s website: “Plymouth on First Hill opened its doors to residents in September, 2017. This building, in close proximity to First Hill’s medical institutions, provides furnished studio apartments to those experiencing long-term homelessness and critical medical challenges. In addition to Plymouth’s wraparound support, residents receive on-site medical and behavioral health care from Harborview Medical Center staff.

      Plymouth on First Hill features:

      80 studio apartments (including 3 for live-in staff), Two light-filled community rooms, On-site medical office staffed by Harborview Medical Center”

    • Amazon Drops More Than $1 Million In Effort to Buy Seattle City Council

      With the exception of Seattle City Council Member Debora Juarez, the candidates who [the billionaires] supports—Phil Tavel, Mark Solomon, Egan Orion, Alex Pedersen, Heidi Wills, and Jim Pugel—hold the most conservative views on those issues in the race. And, like Amazon, all those candidates fervently opposed last year’s head tax, which was a modest tax on big business to pay for homeless shelter beds and permanent supportive housing.

    If you hate poor people so much, why don’t you move to Bellevue, ya pricks?

  3. I would like to see some data to show if residents of tiny house villages are actually being helped by the “wrap-around services” (addiction and mental health treatment) that supposedly are being offered at these sites, and also how many of them are being moved into permanent housing.

    • You’d think if the data existed to show these programs actually get people off the streets long term, we’d see it.

      The fact that it’s radio silence when you ask for the data makes me think it doesn’t exist.

    • A number of the villages are now requiring that residents agree to meet with the case manager, as this increases the likelihood that they will obtain permanent housing.

      During 2018, the villages served 879 homeless men, women, and children. Of the 491 who exited the villages, a total of 166 people, or 34 percent, were successful in obtaining permanent housing. If we include the additional 42 individuals who moved into transitional housing (receiving up to two years of Section 8 subsidies and help in moving to permanent housing), the percentage who obtained housing is 42 percent. In comparison, data provided by the Seattle Human Service Department (third quarter 2018) shows the rate of exits to permanent housing from city-funded shelters at only 4 percent, and enhanced around-the-clock shelters at 20 percent.

      • @harvardave Thanks for providing the facts and shutting down these crybabies.

        When you read comments like,

        “I would like to see some data”


        “The fact that it’s radio silence when you ask for the data makes me think it doesn’t exist.”

        It’s nice to give the lazy a reminder that the data is out there and very easily attainable. I live next to one of the villages in the CD and there have been ZERO problems. You only hear complaints from Dori shills and right wingers that choose to live in absolute fear.

      • Bob’s typical MO is to post baseless opinions and questions and leave the onus on others to disprove him.

        Whether or not his intentions are malicious is not something I can answer because I don’t know the guy personally. He doesn’t come off as malicious though.