Supplemental Construction Budget Invests in Homelessness Crisis

In Olympia Monday, majority Democrats rolled out a proposed state construction budget that looks to be serious about chipping away at homelessness. Dan Frizzell from the House Democratic Caucus has more.

Port Townsend Representative Steve Tharinger chairs the House Capital Budget Committee, and he says homelessness and housing insecurity is a problem in communities throughout the state, including his corner of the Olympic Peninsula. The no-new-taxes budget he released Monday invests a hundred million dollars to get people off the streets and into permanent housing. The plan is to go one step at a time, from tents to shelters, from shelters to temporary housing, and eventually into long-term affordable housing.  Here’s Tharinger:

THARINGER: “Looking at the housing challenges the state faces, both in Seattle but across the state, certainly it’s a challenge on the peninsula, that full spectrum from shelter to permanent supportive housing is I think the best way to approach it.  This budget does that, so we’re pretty excited about these investments.”

The capital budget puts another 89 million into non-housing projects, including retrofitting public schools to withstand earthquakes, building early learning and behavioral health facilities, and nearly 40 million in toxic cleanups and environmental work. The budget has a public hearing Tuesday morning in Olympia.  At the state Capitol, I’m Dan Frizzell.