Reposted from Community Action Skagit County.
Send your lawmaker a message urging them to invest $200 million in the Housing Trust Fund (to build and preserve 5,700+ safe, healthy, and affordable homes), and to strengthen lifeline programs that prevent homelessness.
This week, lawmakers are turning their attention to the state budget and there is much for them to focus on. We need your advocacy to keep several important investments top of mind: A $200 million investment in the Housing Trust Fund and increased funding for lifeline programs that prevent homelessness.
A $200 million investment in the Housing Trust Fund will build and preserve 5,700+ safe, healthy, and affordable homes across Washington. After years of underfunding, this robust investment would finally return the Housing Trust Fund to pre-recession levels.
Additionally, there are two really important programs in Washington that provide support for elderly adults and people with disabilities to help meet their basic needs:
- Housing and Essential Needs (HEN)
- Aged, Blind, and Disabled (ABD)
These programs provide temporary assistance to people who are recovering from a disability, or who are applying for permanent, federal benefits. These resources are often the only source of housing support a person has during this process.
In December, the Governor proposed increasing the ABD cash grant from $197 to $400 per month and creating a $20 monthly travel stipend for HEN recipients. We're asking lawmakers to match the Governor's proposal when they release their budgets in the coming weeks.
Last of all, the House of Representatives recently passed two bills that will help people who are living on low incomes meet their basic needs. Both of these bills - ESHB 1239 and ESHB 1831 - have an opportunity to be passed by the Senate and enacted into law.
ESHB 1239 will help people with permanent disabilities access the federal SSI and SSDI programs by requiring health facilities to share one free copy of an individual's medical records if the individual is appealing the denial of SSI or SSDI benefits.
ESHB 1831 will improve economic security for people struggling to meet their basic needs by increasing public benefit programs' cash asset limit from $1,000 to $6,000, and the vehicle asset limit from $6,000 to $10,000.
Note: All community members may take action on their personal time as a private citizen. Community Action staff and AmeriCorps VISTA members may NOT take this action on agency time unless previously approved by a supervisor as a non-federally-funded activity.