Commerce awards $240,000 to five regional partnerships planning for low-income housing needs

Additional grant funding is available through March to support regional planning for vulnerable residents at the lowest income levels

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington State Department of Commerce awarded $240,000 to five community partnerships across the state to support coordination of land use planning and homeless services planning. Each city or county-led partnership will use the funds to coordinate resources and plan for their lowest income housing needs, including residents experiencing homelessness.

View the list of grant awards (PDF).

“These communities recognize the razor’s edge that many families walk between being able to find housing they can afford and homelessness,” said Commerce Director Mike Fong. “Regional coordination on barriers to housing, where to invest public dollars, and land use planning that encourages development of more diverse housing types can help families stay safe and secure.”

Washington is projected to need more than 1.1 million new housing units over the next 20 years, with half of these units needed to house vulnerable residents earning less than half of their area median income. This includes a projected need for 91,000 emergency housing beds. With both Growth Management Act comprehensive plans and 5-year county homelessness plans due at nearly the same time, these grants support critical planning efforts between regional partners when it is needed most.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to enhance collaboration in our efforts to plan for housing and homelessness throughout Walla Walla County. We know that planning with shared strategic priorities will allow for a collective approach that is more effective in reaching our goal of safe, affordable housing for everyone in our community.” Said Becca Finkes, Walla Walla Department of Community Health.

The grant application remains open through the end of March 2024, with another $760,000 available. Counties and cities working together, or a non-profit provider of affordable housing and/or homeless housing in partnership with a county or city as lead applicant, are eligible for grants up to $50,000 each.

For more information about the Coordinating Low-Income Housing program grant, including the grant application (Word) and instructions (PDF), visit the Commerce website.


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