What is It?
The Housing Trust Fund is the primary source for creating affordable housing in Washington State. It is a part of the state capital budget and must be renewed every year—therefore advocacy is important every year so that sufficient funding is allocated. Investment in the Housing Trust Fund is also an investment in economic development—it is estimated that for every 1,000 units of housing built, 1,220 jobs are created, $79 million is generated in local income and $8.3 million is generated in taxes and fees for local governments.
Our infographic breaks it down:
What’s the Impact?
All partnering YWCAs provide either housing or services to clients who need housing. We see the impact of this funding on our programs and clients. Our blog features stories from several families who now have safe, affordable homes in YWCA communities thanks to Housing Trust Fund investment.
In some YWCA communities, the Housing Trust Fund is the only funding that provides for affordable housing. The Fund has been steadily shrinking over the last several years, and in this political environment a lot of advocacy is needed to sufficiently support housing programs across the state.
Legislators set aside $70 million for the Housing Trust Fund. This won’t fully address the vast need for affordable housing in Washington state — we asked for $175 million. But it’s a significant investment in our communities in a still-tough economic climate. Thanks for your advocacy!
It’s important to keep the conversation about affordable housing going even while our legislators are away from the capitol.
What Can You Do?
1) Contact your legislators and thank them for investing in our communities through the Housing Trust Fund.
2) Register on Firesteel website (if you haven’t yet!). That way the website will be tailored to you and you will be matched to your legislators. We’ll then be able to send you messages specific to your voting district!
3) Spread the word about this important policy area on social media. The Washington Low Income Housing Alliance has great info on how to advocate on both Twitter and Facebook HERE.
4) Talk about it! Record a video comment on the importance of the social safety-net. Click the “video comments” link below to get started, or read this step-by-step guide to uploading video comments to the Firesteel website.