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WASHINGTON STATE STANDARD: State spending to rise tenfold on housing for people with developmental disabilities

Updated: 7 days ago

Housing for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities is about to see another boost in state funding. 


Lawmakers this year set aside $19 million for it in the Housing Trust Fund. That brings this two-year budget cycle’s total to almost $44 million, a tenfold increase from most other budgets. 


“This is a big deal,” Rep. Frank Chopp, D-Seattle, said. “These folks need that housing, so this is a big step forward.” 


The new funding, which will flow through grants to mostly nonprofit developers, will likely help build about 80 affordable housing units, according to advocates. That’s on top of the 155 units that last year’s record amount of funding will help build. 


In 2022, the state only set aside enough funding for 65 units, and in 2021, they only helped build eight, according to the Department of Social and Health Services. 


Housing for people with disabilities is often expensive and difficult to build as it must be accessible, located close to services and affordable for people with low incomes. 


“The physical infrastructure and cost is much different than other types of housing,” Rep. Jamila Taylor, D-Federal Way, said. “It doesn’t pencil out the same way.” 


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