Preserve investments in housing & homelessness services for young people experiencing homelessness
Though Washington State faces a significant budget shortfall, lessons learned from the Great Recession in 2008 show that austerity budgets slow economic growth and cause more harm. Moreover, vital cuts to human services made during the Great Recession were never fully restored and disproportionately impacted Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities. The legislature should avoid cuts and preserve existing investments in youth housing and homelessness programs.
Maintain & increase behavioral health supports for young people
The pandemic has compounded behavioral health needs across our state and, in particular, for young people experiencing homelessness. Suicides rates for minors in King County have spiked and the WA State Department of Health has projected three million Washingtonians will experience significant behavioral health symptoms due to the pandemic. The legislature should maintain behavioral health investments for young people and increase investments in youth mobile crisis services, respite care, and peer supports.
Pass new progressive revenue
Washington State has the most upside-down tax code in the nation. Our over-reliance on sales tax deepens inequality. As our state continues to reel from the economic impacts of the pandemic, the legislature must pass progressive revenue to increase economic opportunity, advance racial equity, and ensure there is a strong and well-funded continuum of human services and housing options in our state.
Support eviction prevention and protections
The economic impacts of COVID-19 have put thousands of Washington youth and families at risk of eviction and homelessness and have exacerbated racial disparities. As the eviction moratorium ends, many Washingtonians will face thousands of dollars in back rent. Tenants need critical rental assistance and eviction protections to help pay rent and prevent a surge in evictions.
Invest $250 million for Housing Trust Fund