Commerce awards nearly $21 million to nonprofits to operate and maintain permanent housing with services for vulnerable Washingtonians

The Washington State Department of Commerce announced $20.8 million in new grants to 81 nonprofit organizations providing the state’s most vulnerable people with permanent housing units and services. Funding will be used for operations and maintenance of 3,135 permanent housing units statewide, along with supportive services essential for people with life-altering disabilities to survive and thrive.

“Permanent supportive housing is critically important for people with serious physical and behavioral health conditions that often place them at risk for homelessness and threaten their ability survive,” said Commerce Director Lisa Brown. “While we have more work to do, I am grateful that the Legislature provided more funding this past session to ensure that more of the most vulnerable members of our communities have safe places to live with access to the services they need.”

These permanent supportive housing grants are funded through expanded document recording fees passed during the 2021 legislative session (ESSHB 1277). Permanent supportive housing (PSH) is subsidized, leased housing with no limit on the length of stay that prioritizes people who need comprehensive support services to stay housed. Service providers pair housing with on-site or off-site voluntary services to support a person with complex and disabling behavioral or physical health conditions. These individuals will also often be experiencing homelessness or at imminent risk of homelessness. Additionally, permanent supportive housing focuses on improving the health status of residents and connecting them with community-based health care, treatment and employment services.

Grants provide gap funding to providers between what is received in rent assistance from the individuals residing in the units and the maintenance and operations costs of the building. Reimbursement for the cost of supportive services provided to residents is also available. Only projects meeting established permanent supportive housing standards are eligible for the grants.

The $20.8 million in grants announced today builds on $19.5 million in continuing funding to providers across the state, supporting another 3,149 housing units. The total $40.3 million Commerce has now awarded will provide 6,284 permanent supportive housing units statewide. Learn more about how the Housing Trust Fund program funds operations and maintenance on the Commerce website.

This press release was provided by the Washington State Department of Commerce.