The Third Door Coalition was founded in 2018 “with focused conversations at Seattle University” and includes a group representing the restaurant and hotel industries, academics, and homelessness service providers and advocates including Chad Mackay of Fire & Vine Hospitality, Professor Sara Rankin of Seattle University School of Law, Daniel Malone of the Downtown Emergency Service Center, and Paul Lambros of Plymouth Housing.
“The plan calls for a public-private partnership to fund an estimated capital cost of $1.6 billion over the next five years,” a Seattle City Council announcement on the launch of the effort reads. “The Coalition also identifies ways to drive down the currently high costs of building permanent supportive housing.” First-year council member Andrew Lewis says he will announce “specific policies to advance the goals of the Third Door Coalition’s recommendations” in coming weeks.
The coalition was born out of Seattle U’s Homeless Rights Advocacy Project and created to prioritize “Housing First” approaches “focused on permanent supportive housing.” The advocacy project “engages Seattle University School of Law students in research and analysis around solutions to homelessness.”
Congratulations to @thirddoorsea on this milestone toward solving chronic homelessness in Seattle. We are grateful for the hard work and commitment of the entire organization and proud of our CEO, Chad Mackay.https://t.co/YFqvPA2PoU
— El Gaucho (@ElGauchoSteak) May 20, 2020
The new Third Door proposal also includes opportunities for Seattle and other cities to ease creation of more affordable “permanent supportive housing” by reducing permit fees and removing requirements like bicycle parking.
The plan could call for a new tax on Seattle and county businesses, the Seattle Times reports:
The proposal, which proponents describe as a loose framework, describes the state providing a fifth of the funding, King County 30 percent, and the county’s cities providing 10 percent of the funding, with the remaining 40 percent coming from “business leaders.” That could come in the form of donations, or possibly from a “tax revenue piece,” Mackay said, not ruling out some version of a tax on businesses.
That would put the effort at odds with Central Seattle’s city council representative Kshama Sawant who is challenging Mayor Jenny Durkan and council president Lorena Gonzalez by continuing to pursue a tax on the city’s largest businesses to pay for new housing as well as a COVID-19 financial relief program. Sawant and the Tax Amazon group, meanwhile, are also working toward a possible ballot measure this November.
You can learn more at thirddoorcoalition.org.
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