Thank you to Gov. Inslee for extending the moratorium on rental evictions to Dec. 31. The need for action was clear. But what happens when the pandemic finally subsides and the eviction moratorium is lifted? We may well face mass evictions if actions are not taken now to expand the supply of affordable housing.
The problem is especially severe for seniors — the fastest growing segment of the homeless population. According to one study by Dennis Culhane, University of Pennsylvania, the number of elderly people experiencing homelessness will triple over the next 10 years.
It is urgent to act now at all levels of government to expand housing vouchers, to put additional federal, state and local resources into affordable housing, to establish safe and reliable home-sharing programs like the one in Tacoma and to enact incentives and requirements that will cause builders to add affordable units to their mix of housing. Local builders like the Ginn Group have stepped forward with a 60-unit project for seniors in the Hough neighborhood under a federal housing low-income tax credit program. We need more developers to join the effort.