When Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced his intentions to double the Seattle Housing Levy to raise $290 million over seven years, much of the attention was focused on the number of housing units to be developed through the levy (2,500). Equally important to many of the people who come to Solid Ground are the proposed $11.5 million in rental assistance and other services for renters facing homelessness and $12.5 million to help homeowners living on low incomes who face foreclosure because an emergency like a medical condition or job loss, as well as first-time buyers.
Beatrice Holbert worked with Solid Ground to access that rental assistance when her hours working as a chef were drastically cut and she was at risk of becoming homeless while raising her granddaughter. The assistance helped her stay in her home, so she could find new work and enroll in college.
“I just want this levy to pass,” Holbert said at the kick-off meeting held February 3 at Compass on Dexter, “because there are other people out there in need who need somebody to say, ‘It’s going to be OK if we can just work with you.'”
Holbert told Kiro 7 News that she cares for her 3-year-old granddaughter, and she worried about losing her home.
“I would kind of look at her, and she would look at me. She’d say, ‘grandma, you’re OK?’ And I’d say ‘yes.’ But you never really know what it is until it hits you,” Holbert said.
Seattle Housing Levy would raise $290 million to build affordable housing and keep people in their homes. Pictured is Solid Ground’s Phyllis Gutiérrez Kenney Place at Magnuson Park.