Mayor Jenny A. Durkan gave her final budget address Sept. 27, 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 2022 Proposed budget includes the third Seattle Rescue Plan, which allocates and authorizes spending of the final, $116 million installment of federal Coronavirus Local Fiscal recovery Funds funds. Durkan also adds $25 million to fiscal reserves to begin restoring the emergency fund and revenue stabilization fund.
Housing investments: Durkan’s proposed budget allocates $200 million to support affordable housing investments, including record resources towards permanently affordable homeownership opportunities and strategic acquisitions to address displacement and homelessness. In addition, there is $19.7 million for the Equitable Development Initiative.
Addressing homelessness: 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, in 2022 Seattle 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 percent increase for providers, and funding to address provider organizational and workforce capacity. Durkan is also proposing a new program that will provide $6 million in federal rent assistance to pair emergency housing vouchers with supportive services.
Public safety and investments in alternatives to policing: Durkan’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 as an alternative to sworn police response. The budget also funds 125 new officers for the Seattle Police Department, adds $1 million of hiring incentives to recruit new officers, and builds on the 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 $24.1 million 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.