Health Through Housing

dave upthegrove - king county council district 5

Health Through Housing Proposal

Dear Neighbor, 

This last week, the King County Council’s Committee of the Whole (COW) took the first step in ensuring every King County resident has a safe, supportive place to call home.

Under the measure known as Health through Housing, King County Proposed Ordinance 2020-0337, up to 2000 chronically homeless individuals could be housed and provided with behavioral health and other support services.

We know that safe and stable housing can turn a person’s life around.

Housing is a basic, human right and in my conversations with community members and faith leaders I have repeatedly heard that we need two things – compassion and commitment. 

Compassion to those who are struggling and a commitment to help them turn their lives around.

This measure does both those things.

The County will take advantage of a current surplus of affordable nursing home and hotel properties to move quickly on securing these facilities for housing at currently low market rates.  Instead of waiting several years and paying the high cost to build new housing, the County will move people into housing immediately.  King County will work with interested cities, as the housing would need to be permitted by each city in which it is located.

The option to pursue the funding was provided by the Legislature in the 2020 session with the passage of House Bill 1590 allowing counties to add 0.1% to the sales tax to fund building or renovating property for housing.  The County will bond against a portion of the money raised ensuring immediate access to up to $400 million. The ongoing funding will provide mental health support, addiction services and other support onsite for the residents.

The measure will now move to the full Council for a final vote on Tuesday, October 14th.

Voicing your support for the proposal will help ensure we can commit to a compassionate future for our most vulnerable residents.

Please email your support for the Health through Housing proposal to all King County Councilmembers at


Community Supports/ Updates


While my staff and I are all working remotely, we are still available to serve you during the pandemic. Please don't hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance.



King County Councilmember
District 5