Published January 27 2022
Plus, report on Human Services Needs Update
The City Council voted unanimously Monday to approve up to $1.6 million in affordable and supportive housing capital funding for LifeWire’s "Hope Starts Here" program. LifeWire, which provides services and housing to survivors of domestic violence, had responded to a request for proposals from the city last fall.
LifeWire must move its housing and services to a new location. This project, planned for completion this year, includes 25 affordable housing units, primarily focusing on households earning 30% or less of the area median income, with on-site supportive services.
The capital funding from the city is the result of additional sales tax revenue generated for housing and related services serving certain populations through House Bill 1590 passed by the state Legislature in 2020. Bellevue has already allocated nearly $1.7 million in HB1590 funds for behavioral health and housing related services since the 10th of 1% tax increase went into effect Jan. 1, 2021. The tax is expected to generate between $8 and $9 million in funds annually in Bellevue.
The council will receive another update on future uses of HB1590 funds. More details about the LifeWire funding allocation and the background on Bellevue’s program to disperse HB1590 funds in the city are available in the meeting materials.
Report on the 2021-2022 Human Services Needs Update
In other business, the council received a report on the 2021-2022 human services needs assessment. Data gathered from the assessment informs the Human Services Needs Update, which is released every two years and helps determine the most urgent human service needs, issues and priorities for residents in Bellevue.
Extensive research is gathered from community members through phone and online surveys, community conversations, human services provider surveys and consumer surveys. Trends seen in Bellevue include continuing growth and increasing diversity in the community. Top issues raised by residents included:
- affordable housing, the number one community problem, according to 74% of survey respondents
- living wages and affordable child care
- behavioral health
- domestic violence
- racial and ethnic discrimination
- transportation access for vulnerable populations
The data gathered will help determine priorities for funding through the Human Services Fund. Applications will be available for the next funding cycle in March, with recommendations for funding from the Human Services Commission brought back to the council in the fall.