Statement by Mayor Jenny Durkan Celebrating Seattle City Council’s Passage of the Interlocal Agreement Creating the King County Regional Homelessness Authority

Seattle (December 16, 2019) – Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan issued the following statement, thanking the City Council for the 5-1 passage of the Interlocal Agreement (ILA) to Create the King County Regional Homelessness Authority and improve outcomes for people experiencing homelessness across the region: 

“Today is a historic day. After many years of talk, today we act as a region to move forward together to provide comprehensive services using evidence-based practices and centering people with lived experience of homelessness, to bring more people inside. In 2020, we set forth on a new path to consolidate services that are too fractured and don’t serve individuals experiencing homelessness.  

“I’m grateful to the City Council, especially Councilmember Bagshaw, who has been laser-focused on serving our most vulnerable neighbors. After months of engagement and careful deliberation, we must act with urgency to address the complex challenges of forming a new agency. We know that homelessness is a regional crisis that knows no borders. Today we begin a new chapter to address our region’s most difficult challenges. 

“In November 2017, when Executive Constantine, Mayor Backus, and I stood together with regional stakeholders and partners, announcing the formation of One Table. Then Executive Constantine and I signed an MOU to begin the detailed and comprehensive work of designing a new agency. Through it all, we have held frank discussions about the challenges of our fractured homelessness response system and reconfirmed our shared commitment to addressing this crisis by implementing compassionate, evidence-based practices that work. 

“After introducing our proposal in August, we continued to incorporate valued input from the County and City Councils, Sound Cities Association, service providers, and people with lived experience. Those voices allowed us to further refine and improve upon the agreement that we have today – a consolidated, equity-driven agreement where experts are empowered to lead recommendations.  

“I want to reiterate my appreciation for everyone who is on the frontlines of doing this work every day, especially City employees as well as our service providers. Thank you to Executive Constantine, who has been a true partner throughout the process and has a shared vision of all that we can accomplish. I also want to thank Marc Dones, Tess Colby, my staff, and HSD Director Jason Johnson who have spent countless hours over the last two years to honestly evaluate what’s not working and how to truly make the system both more accountable to the public and better for those individuals experiencing homelessness.  

“I look forward to signing this ILA on Wednesday to continue our unified path forward. This is the beginning. And it will take hard work in the coming months to now deliver results.”