Seattle Peoples Party Position on the Homelessness and Housing
Seattle is in a housing crisis and the number of people living and dying outside continues to rise. In 2017 the number of people living in shelters, cars, other facilities or outdoors in King County amounted to over 11,600. King County trails behind only Los Angeles County and New York City in overall homeless population according to a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
While there are many factors that influence the number of families and individuals living without shelter, we cannot ignore the direct correlation between rising rents and homelessness. Seattle has the fastest increasing rent of any city in the nation, and ranks eighth in overall cost of rent. As rents increase, more and more people are finding themselves displaced and/or living without shelter.
The City’s response to this crisis has been shamefully inadequate. Seattle does not provide enough shelter to meet the needs of the people most impacted by the housing crisis and the resources that are available don't meet people where they are. Families, couples, people with pets, immigrants, youth, people living with addiction or mental illness have an even harder time finding shelters and housing that can accommodate their needs. At the end of 2017, Seattle engaged in an RFP process to redistribute funds to organizations working to address homelessness in our city. The redistribution of resources resulted in a reduction of shelter beds.
Cowarding to wealthy residents who don't want to see poverty in their neighborhoods, the city has maintained its policy of conducting destructive sweeps and ticketing residents that sleep in vehicles and/or unsanctioned spaces. This policy does not address the root causes of homelessness, but instead harms vulnerable people and perpetuates instability. We know people cannot break the cycle of homelessness when the City is actively destroying their belongings, pushing them from place to place and fining them for quality of life crimes. So why does Seattle continue to do this?
The Seattle Peoples Party believes that we need to make large-scale investments in order to address our current state of emergency around homelessness. We support short-term and long-term economic, public health and cultural strategies to address our city's crisis.
What we are doing:
- Organizing to combat displacement and protect cash-poor and POC residents at risk of displacement.
What we are supporting:
- Policy changes that stop the unnecessary, inhumane and ineffective sweeping of our unsheltered neighbors. Learn More