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Council Passes Emergency Ordinance and Amends Housing Action Plan

Lisa Gardner, City Council Communications Director, 509.625.6226

Tuesday, July 27, 2021 at 12:33 p.m.

In last night’s legislative session, City Council passes 6-1 a Homeless Response System ordinance amending the policy framework to declare it an emergency.  As well as passes an ordinance unanimously to amend the Housing Action Plan to include an Implementation Plan that provides the first steps to spearhead action with resources to achieve them in a timely matter. 

“This emergency homeless response ordinance has been on the books for some time now,” says Councilwoman Lori Kinnear, chair of Council’s Public Safety and Community Health Committee.  “It is the responsibility of the City of Spokane to eliminate chronic homelessness.  While we may not eradicate mental illness, drug abuse, or domestic violence, as a City we are obliged to provide appropriate services to those in critical need in an immediate fashion.  This is an emergency that requires all regional partners and jurisdictions to protect every one of Spokane’s community members.”

The Homeless Response System ordinance concentrates solely on a strategic homeless response system whenever Spokane faces extreme environmental conditions providing night-by-night shelter as our City’s minimum response to homelessness in our community as we collaborate with other jurisdictions.

The amended Housing Action Plan now includes an Implementation Plan that includes strategies of land-use changes, financial incentives, administrative reform, rental housing market support, and housing equity strategies.

“Tonight, we heard public testimony on the housing crisis in our community,” says Council President Breean Beggs.  “Spokane needs a plan that has measurable tactics and reliable resources and also holds both Council and the administration accountable with providing a Housing Action Plan that is equitable and improves housing issues for everyone in our region.”