Where candidates for Mayor stand on housing and homelessness

As Washington prepares for a critical election on November 7, including the election of a new Mayor of Seattle, there is no greater issue on voters’ minds than the unacceptably high number of our neighbors who are homeless or struggling to find and afford a place to live.

I have worked to end homelessness for many years and I know it is a maddeningly complex issue. At its core, homelessness is a straightforward problem with an obvious solution: People without shelter or a permanent place to live need housing.

From there, though, things quickly get complicated. Who builds, provides and maintains the housing? Where does the housing belong? How do homeless people afford housing, especially if they can’t find jobs? What if homeless people are battling mental health and addiction problems?

For average voters, the complexity is often exacerbated by the arcane language that our political leaders and advocates use when talking about homelessness and affordable housing. Insider terms like “upzoning,” “HALA,” and a “right to shelter” are thrown around freely, making it easy for voters to feel overwhelmed and tune out.

That’s why I’m sharing an important resource that can help every voter understand the most pressing issues shaping our region’s homelessness and affordable housing crises, and assess where each of our mayoral candidates stand on the issues.

Click here to view our fact sheet on the candidates for Seattle Mayor.

Our Mayor’s race fact sheet was created in partnership with the Housing Alliance Action Fund, Housing Development Consortium and Seattle King County Coalition on Homelessness.

The fact sheet introduces and explains five of the most critical issues our community is facing and includes statements from candidates Jenny Durkan and Cary Moon with their ideas on solving this issue.

We can solve homelessness: we have the resources, expertise and compassion. What has been missing is leadership. We hope that you will pay attention to where the Mayoral candidates land on these issues, vote thoughtfully and then hold them accountable to solve this human crisis so that Seattle can be a productive and healthy community. We can do it, but we need all of us to engage, educate and keep the dialogue going long after the polls close and a new Mayor takes office.

There is another critical issue on the ballot this year—the renewal of the King County Veterans and Human Service Levy. We are proud to support this community investment that will help thousands of our neighbors most in need. The levy renews a preexisting revenue source that has been proven to demonstrably help veterans and other vulnerable people find the help they need – including affordable housing, job training, employment, and mental health treatment. If voters don’t approve the levy, millions of dollars that serve domestic violence survivors, veterans, and families in our community will go away.

Your ballot will arrive in the next day or two if it hasn’t already—thank you for considering these critical issues while filling it out.

Sonya Campion, President