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Seattle City Council Finalizes 2022 Budget, Prioritizing Housing, Homeless Services, Healthy & Safe Communities

Invests an historic $194 million in affordable housing, $15.4 million in homelessness services, fully funds SPD hiring plans while investing $27.5 million in upstream public safety solutions

SEATTLE – Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda (Position 8, Citywide), Chair of the Budget Committee, issued the following statement following the final vote on the 2022 budget from the Select Budget Committee:

“The Council’s 2022 Budget responds to the most pressing crises facing our city in the wake of COVID and rising income inequality by creating affordable housing, sheltering more who are homelessness, ensuring equitable economic recovery, and investing in public safety. The Council’s budget rightly invests more in the emergency reserves while prioritizing spending limited public dollars to serve, care for and support working families and our local economy. Thanks to the foresight of the Council to pass JumpStart progressive revenue, we are able to lead with our progressive values, act with urgency to ward off deep cuts, and protect our most vulnerable in this time of compounding public health crises,” said Mosqueda.

“The JumpStart Seattle payroll tax was the reason, that unlike cities across the country, we have not had budgetary cuts to city services and layoffs,” Mosqueda continued. “After weeks of restoring the JumpStart Seattle spending plan to protect against future fiscal cliffs, we received a negative economic revenue forecast, putting the budget out of balance by $15 million, in addition to numerous budget corrections. Despite this economic volatility, working with Council Central Staff, I was able to maintain and add to the fiscal reserves proposed by the Mayor, protecting against future economic volatility, and I was able to invest tens of millions of dollars in Council priorities.”

The 2022 Budget as passed by Council includes, but is not limited to:

Unprecedented $194M Investments in Affordable Housing:

  • $165M for the creation of new, affordable rental housing, nearly twice the amount invested in previous years – focusing on funding shovel-ready projects to leverage available state and federal dollars
  • More than doubling the City’s investments in first-time home ownership development to build generational wealth in communities impacted by past discriminatory policy
  • $97M for affordable housing coming directly from JumpStart progressive tax

Funding Solutions to our Homelessness Crisis:

  • $15.4M in new investments in homelessness services that the new Regional Homelessness Authority will administer
  • $1.5M in Vehicle Residency Outreach and Safe Lots
  • $5M to leverage community & county partnerships to create a high acuity shelter
  • Protecting over $10M for tiny house village short-term housing solutions
  • $9.3M for cleaning up litter and garbage across the city

Creating a Connected Community and Thriving Economy:

  • $22.5M in economic recovery and resilience investments from the JumpStart progressive revenue tax rooted in creating equitable, creative, and culturally appropriate opportunities for entrepreneurship
  • Authorizing up to $100M in bonding capacity to repair bridges around the city
  • $16.4M for Green New Deal and climate resilience investments
  • $14.4M in transportation projects focused on maintaining and enhancing our transportation infrastructure, safer streets for people walking and biking, expanding mobility access for all abilities, and activating our public spaces.

Investing in Healthy and Safe Communities:

  • There are no cuts to Seattle Police Department (SPD) officers or officer salaries
  • Fully funds SPD’s hiring plan: 125 new officers in 2022 
  • 26 new positions to the Community Safety and Communications Center (CSCC) to address the existing 911 dispatch operational needs
  • Expands the Community Safety Officers (CSO) program by 6 more officers bringing the total funded positions to 24
  • $2.5M to expand mobile mental and behavioral health crisis services
  • $3.9M increase for LEAD (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion) which is a post-arrest/pre-booking diversion program
  • $10.4M in funding for organizations working toward community-led solutions to end violence and increase safety in BIPOC communities
  • $26.4M for overtime for officers 
  • Restores the $4M in the Community Safety Initiative cut by the Mayor’s proposed budget for gun violence and youth violence reduction programs

Mosqueda added, “I’m proud of the ways in which we have come together as a Council and made important decisions for our City in the face of a very bad economic forecast received just a few short weeks ago. As Budget Chair, I have always been committed to a transparent and accountable budgeting process. After reviewing nearly 200 amendments to the Mayor’s proposed budget, my colleagues and I crafted a budget that invests in the areas that need it most. I want to thank my Council colleagues: I sincerely appreciate you for the difficult work you’ve put in to ensure Seattle’s most urgent needs are met.”

“One of the paramount requirements of the Legislative body is to present a balanced budget that meets the needs of Seattle-ites everywhere. In an effort to be responsive to the tremendous gamut of needs, we worked tirelessly – in the midst of this pandemic – to identify any dollar that could be used in 2022 that would otherwise go unused and redeployed those funds to help create stability, safety and care. We’ve adjusted for items that are essential, and made unprecedented investments in affordable housing, joint homelessness response, equitable community safety and a Seattle of the future through innovative economic resilience projects,” Mosqueda concluded.

“The Council has made significant investments in community safety in this budget. We’ve funded the Seattle Police Department plan to hire 125 police officers, more Community Service Officers, and technology resources necessary to support alternatives to police response and Consent Decree compliance. We’ve also added an additional firefighter recruit class and funding to support our 911 dispatchers” said Councilmember Lisa Herbold (District 1, West Seattle and South Park) Public Safety and Human Services Chair. “It is clearer than ever that the unprecedented fear, pain, and isolation of the COVID pandemic are leading to negative mental health impacts for all of us. That’s why our investments in mental health and substance use disorder support are critical to preserve safety in our homes and communities. I appreciate my colleagues agreeing to significantly increase our support for behavioral health – and urging other levels of government to do the same.”

“With an ongoing public health crisis, the Seattle City Council worked together to do more with less resources for working people and families. I am proud of having an opportunity to influence and vote on this City budget — my last as a councilmember,” said Council President M. Lorena González (Position 9, Citywide.) “Next year’s investments will go directly towards enhancing public safety, homelessness interventions, mental health services, a guaranteed basic income pilot, affordable childcare, the Legal Defense Fund, the Tubman Health Clinic, climate resiliency and inclusive growth for future generations. While I am proud of what this budget represents, there is still much work left to ensure that Seattle can be an affordable, safe and livable city for us all.”

“This budget makes substantial investments to respond to our homelessness crisis – the biggest issue affecting quality of life for every Seattleite,” said Councilmember Andrew Lewis (District 7, Pioneer Square to Magnolia.) “I am pleased that it also contains many key investments in physical and personal infrastructure that will make District 7, and all of Seattle, a safer place to live, work, and recreate. “

“We have heard and heeded the call from District 2 and all Seattleites. That’s why I’m proud we’re investing in public health, like creating more public toilets, food access, and expanding mental and behavioral health services for the Duwamish Tribe. We’re creating safer and more inclusive spaces, like sidewalk, bike and pedestrian infrastructure,” said Councilmember Tammy Morales (District 2, South Seattle and the Chinatown / International District.) “Community has been clear: it’s paramount to support our youth during this pandemic. That’s why I’ve sponsored many targeted investments for youth through culturally responsive programming for Black girls and Black trans youth, pre-employment opportunities, funding restorative justice in Seattle Public Schools, as well as community-based restorative justice programming.”

“With this budget, the city goes back to basics – keeping our streets and bridges maintained, preserving our parks through the Clean City Initiative, and providing food for our elders,” said Councilmember Debora Juarez (District 5, North Seattle.) “At the same time, our budget takes a step in the right direction towards the city we aspire to be. The city keeps its commitment to fund the Equitable Communities Initiative with $30 million to reduce racial disparities in education, health, and wealth, cementing our status as a national leader in this work.”

“Budget Chair Mosqueda crafted a budget setting Seattle up for success emerging out of an economic downturn and period of political turmoil. This budget prioritizes an effective public safety system that sends the right first responder to emergencies right away by fully funding the SPD staffing and hiring plans, while making essential investments in alternative responses such as Health One, Triage One, Community Service Officers, and the Mobile Crisis Team,” said Councilmember Dan Strauss (District 6, Northwest Seattle.) “Expanding the Mobile Crisis Team is one of my top priorities and I am proud to pass this budget that moves our city forward out of this pandemic and into the Seattle we all know we can be.”After its passage from the Budget Committee, the budget will be voted on at the Full City Council meeting the afternoon of Monday, November 22, 2021. When the budget is passed it’s transmitted to the Mayor.

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