Auburn to play its part in coalition

City signs onto South King Housing and Homelessness Partners

Three years of formal collaboration between certain South King County cities and King County on affordable housing and homelessness issues went into the agreement.

And in February, the Auburn City Council authorized Mayor Nancy Backus to execute and put into play Auburn’s part of the agreement between the county and the cities of Auburn, Burien, Covington, Des Moines, Federal Way, Kent, Normandy Park, Renton and Tukwila.

The goal of the about-to-be South King Housing and Homelessness Partners (SKHHP) is to ensure affordable housing that meets the needs of all income levels in South King County and provides a solid base of housing policies and programs.

Members expect SKHHP also to complement the efforts of existing public and private organizations to address housing needs in South King County and, by combining public funding with private-sector resources to foster efforts to maintain and provide affordable housing.

Auburn has contributed funds to the project since 2016, and the project has provided the cities with additional staff for developing and implementing policies linked to affordable housing and homelessness.

Backus and council members attended three meetings in 2018 to plan the future of the project. Staff from the Housing Development Consortium likewise presented updates on the expected benefits and the proposed agreement at council study sessions.

The agreement reflects input of council and legal staff of the members and provides funding for them in their 2019-2020 budgets.

“I joined the mayor at a few of those meetings, and the meetings were headed up by the Housing development consortium who made presentations to us. At the end of the process we agreed it was to the benefit of all cities to develop this interlocal agreement. I’m proud we were able to participate in this and to keep this going, and to meet the needs of those who are in most need,” said Councilman Claude DaCorsi.

“Mayors in Pierce County also got together recently to discuss homelessness and affordable housing, and I was able to share SKHHP with them, and there is interest in Pierce County in forming something similar. So, stay tuned, there might be more to come on that,” Backus said.

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