Olympia City Hall

New regional housing council to be established

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OLYMPIA –– The Olympia City Council approved an agreement with the cities of Tumwater and Lacey late Tuesday that would dissolve the Health & Human Services Council and use the money designated for that council for a new Regional Housing Council. 

The effort would create a council that would oversee issues related to funding a regional response to homelessness, creating affordable housing, and how to better coordinate existing funding programs. 

A few years ago, Thurston County, along with the cities of Olympia, Lacey, and Tumwater identified homelessness as a humanitarian crisis.

“The primary purpose of the Regional Housing Council (RHC) is to leverage resources and partnerships through policies and projects that promote equitable access to safe and affordable housing,” said Keith Stanley, city’s assistant manager. 

The new regional housing council can assist in forming new housing and homeless response solution by assisting in monitoring the implementation of the County’s five-year Homeless Crisis Response Plan (HCRP) by setting priorities and making funding decisions on projects and programs that implement the HCRP. Additionally, the new council may provide a forum for consideration of policy options related to homelessness and to encourage development of regional approaches to planning for, responding to, and funding homeless services and facilities and expanding affordable housing. 

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