Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda (Position 8, Citywide) issued the following statement after local media reported and earlier this week members of the Executive branch expressed that the Mayor will not seek FEMA reimbursement to fund hotel-based shelters for Seattle’s homeless neighbors:
“I am outraged at the choice to not pursue 100% FEMA reimbursement for our response to the COVID-19 crisis. This is a public health crisis and the choice not to act at this moment is astounding.
“The reason we are emphasizing the hoteling strategy is because it has shown such clear success in cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles, cities we know have been dealing with housing crises much like ours since before COVID-19. To reduce the spread of the virus while we continue to vaccinate residents, we must put people in non-congregate shelter as quickly as possible.
“Right now, we simply do not have the City resources necessary to deal with the crisis at hand. These proposed federal dollars are at the necessary scale to address what can be likened to a house on fire. Our current response is a bucket of water in comparison, and we need a fire hose. It is imperative we tap this resource.
“I plan on moving forward with legislation with my colleagues to increase funding for our hoteling strategies, but again the Council can only appropriate the funds. Only the Executive has the power to spend the money and I am asking Mayor Durkan to do just that.”