Mayor Durkan Announces 2022 City Investments in Housing, Homelessness and Public Safety as Part of Final Budget

Budget includes largest ever investment in housing, continuation of key COVID recovery programs 

SEATTLE (September 27, 2021) – Mayor Jenny A. Durkan gave her final budget address today, announcing approximately $200 million in investments in affordable housing, increasing investments in public safety and alternatives, and funding dedicated to building a more equitable Seattle. The total 2022 budget totals over $7.1 billion with $1.6 billion for the general fund that includes additional federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to invest in urgent local priorities.  

The Mayor’s 2022 Proposed budget includes the third Seattle Rescue Plan (SRP3), which allocates and authorizes spending of the final, $116 million tranche of federal Coronavirus Local Fiscal recovery Funds (CLFR) funds. In 2022, federal funding is focused on investments in affordable housing, small businesses and continuing key COVID supports begun at the onset of the pandemic. Mayor Durkan also adds $25 million to fiscal reserves to begin restoring the emergency fund and revenue stabilization fund.  

Record Breaking Investments in Housing: Continuing with record-breaking investments in affordable housing, Mayor Durkan’s proposed budget allocates $200 million to support affordable housing investments – a single-year record – including record resources towards permanently affordable homeownership opportunities and strategic acquisitions to address displacement and homelessness. These investments include a suite of programs developed and recommended in 2021 by communities of color most impacted by discriminatory housing and land use policies and are made possible by combining all the City’s resources: MHA, Housing Levy, new federal funding, the general fund, and the payroll tax. In addition, there is $19.7 million for the Equitable Development Initiative. 

Addressing Homelessness: COVID-19 caused a significant level of mid-year contracting to address the capacity challenges of the providers serving our City’s most vulnerable, with contracts continuing into 2022. In 2021 and 2022, Citywide homelessness investments total a record $330 million. To ensure the successful ramp-up of the King County Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRHA), in 2022 the city will transfer $104 million to support programs contracted initially with the City. As proposed, the budget will support approximately 3,000 shelter spaces including three new alternative shelters in non-congregate settings, such as tiny house villages, a 2.4% increase for providers, and funding to address provider organizational and workforce capacity. Mayor Durkan is also proposing a new program that will provide $6 million in federal rent assistance to pair emergency housing vouchers with supportive services. This new approach will allow the KCRHA to more effectively serve individuals who need additional support to retain and remain stably housed.  

Public Safety and Investments in Alternatives to Policing: Mayor Durkan’s budget continues to invest in Citywide efforts to reimagine public safety by expanding existing programs that provide alternatives to sworn officer response and continuing investments in regional safety initiatives. The Mayor’s budget continues three HealthOne units and invests approximately $2 million for the new Triage One specialized triage response unit announced earlier this year. Triage One will be housed within the Seattle Fire Department and respond directly to wellness check calls identified by 9-1-1 at the Community Safety and Communications Center (CSCC) as an alternative to sworn police response. The budget also funds 125 new officers for the Seattle Police Department (net of 35 new officers), adds $1 million of hiring incentives to recruit new officers, and builds on the successful Community Service Officer program to create a total of 24 CSOs.  It also continues investments in the King County Regional Peacekeepers Collective, and includes $10 million for community safety programs.  

Investing in Small Businesses, Workforce Development, and Education Equity. As Seattle recovers from the economic impacts of COVID-19, Seattle will invest $24.1m in new workforce development initiatives, stabilization grants for childcare providers to ensure parents have childcare options, and funding for small business owners of underinvested communities. The budget also includes more than $6 million to expand the Seattle Promise program, the City’s commitment to two years free college for Seattle Public School students. Funding will increase equity scholarships, provide additional staff support for students, fund up to three extra quarters for students to complete their degree and create support for students transferring to the University of Washington. 

Environmental Justice and Green New Deal: The proposed budget includes $8.6 million in investments to support the Duwamish Valley neighborhoods of South Park and Georgetown. Investments will center around expanding youth leadership and capacity building in the Duwamish Valley, funding essential improvements to community gathering spaces, improving mobility and access to greenspace and the Duwamish River, Seattle’s only river, improving air and environmental quality, and supporting local businesses and workforce development. The budget includes more than $14 million for Green New Deal priorities outlined in the payroll tax including $4.1 million for Duwamish Valley, $6.5 million for recommendations by the Green New Deal Advisory Board, and additional investments for oil-heat conversations and electrification priorities.  

Delivering on City Services: The economic slowdown and associated decline in City revenues caused by COVID-19 forced a significant reallocation of City resources in both 2020 and 2021. Mayor Durkan restored base funding where possible and invests in new capital and infrastructure priorities. This includes the restoration of $7.7 million in General Fund to SPR to allow for funding to be directed toward major maintenance, and $5 million to Seattle Public Library to expand services.  At the same time, funding for capital projects provided by Real Estate Excise Tax revenues have been restored to all three departments as this revenue stream has rapidly recovered to pre-pandemic levels. In addition to completing the West Seattle Bridge repair in 2022, the Mayor’s budget includes additional funding for Vision Zero safety projects, an additional $6 million for bridge projects,  resources for essential transit service funded by the voter-approved Seattle Transportation Benefit District and advances many Levy to Move Seattle projects, including RapidRide transit projects in partnership with King County Metro. With new federal funding, Mayor Durkan’s Clean City initiative to address trash, litter and debris will be fully funded with $10.4 million for critical operations that ensure public spaces are clean, safe, and accessible.