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Councilmember Licata’s statement on Full Council vote against bill to permit transitional homeless encampments on private land

City of Seattle
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 7/29/2013

Councilmember Nick Licata

Councilmember Licata’s statement on Full Council vote against bill to permit transitional homeless encampments on private land

SEATTLE – Councilmember Nick Licata issued the following statement on today’s Full Council vote rejecting ordinance C.B. 117791, which would allow transitional homeless encampments as an interim use on City-owned or private property. Councilmember Licata voted in favor of the bill:

"While I’m disappointed this proposal didn’t pass, I remain no less committed to finding solutions for people living on the streets.

"This bill was never intended to be a solution to homelessness, rather, it was introduced to provide an interim step between living exposed on the streets and permanent stabilized housing. Encampments are a way to improve the public safety and public health of homeless people who have no shelter whatsoever. Further, regulated encampments can be gateway to housing by providing people a safe and legal place to stay while they are trying to access services. However, I acknowledge the perspectives of my colleagues who disagree.

"Through the Council’s annual budget process and via the Housing, Human Services, Health and Culture Committee which I chair, I will continue to represent those people looking for a roof over their head. We need to acknowledge the progress we have made, and the gaps that remain, and not to pretend that there is no way to respond until more housing is built."

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