Trends over the last several years show the number of unsheltered Washingtonians across the state is increasing, including among children. The legislature intends to work in concert with other governments and organizations to provide support and funds to increase services to homeless Washingtonians and to ease the desperate crisis faced by tens of thousands of people in our communities every day.
SB 5903 would do the following:
- Increases the surcharge to ninety dollars that shall be charged by the county auditor for each document recorded.
- Amends the purpose of funds in the home security fund account, which provides housing and shelter for homeless people, to also include innovative strategies to provide homeless housing support
- It amends the home security fund account and The affordable housing for all account so that Families who receive temporary assistance to needy families must receive priority for any funding provided from this account. Families who receive temporary assistance to needy families as must also have priority for receiving assistance through the transitional housing operating and rent program.
- The Department of Commerce and OSPI grant program that links homeless students and their families with stable housing located in the homeless student's school district, is amended to also include that Homeless students served under this section must also be eligible for nonacademic support as provided for in RCW 28A.165.035.
- It directs the college board to establish a pilot program to encourage college districts to plan for the unique needs and challenges of students experiencing homelessness. Such accommodations may include, but are not limited to: Laundry facilities, storage, showers, encouraging culinary programs to provide free or reduced priced meals, and providing short-term housing or housing assistance; and plans to develop surplus property for affordable housing to accommodate the needs of students experiencing homelessness. The pilot program must include two college districts, one on each side of the Cascade mountain range. The pilot program expires July 1, 2022. The college districts that participate in the pilot program shall provide a joint report to the legislature by December 1, 2022
- A county legislative authority may authorize, fix, and 8 impose a sales and use tax in accordance with the terms of this chapter. Moneys collected under this section may be used to support the cost of the judicial officer and support staff of a therapeutic court.
- In addition to the services provided through RCW 71.24.385, behavioral health organizations shall develop innovative strategies to serve the homeless including, but not limited to, treatment on demand, engaging in outreach programs to encourage homeless people to receive services, and developing a process to link a homeless person with housing, ensuring that no person receiving services through a behavioral health organization is discharged into homelessness.