Like other prosperous American counties, greater King County currently finds itself in the position of possessing both enormous amounts of wealth and staggering levels of homelessness. King County has enjoyed robust economic growth over the past decade, with both Amazon and Microsoft establishing headquarters in the region. Despite these economic powerhouses, the county continues to battle a homelessness problem of devastating proportions. The economic growth the region has experienced is a leading cause of this homelessness. Housing supply and demand have driven up prices to the point where the average middle- and low-income resident can no longer afford a home, and housing stock, particularly affordable housing, has not kept pace with need.
King County has put a renewed emphasis on needing to quickly scale its housing options and bring those experiencing homelessness indoors, announcing an $100 million plan to bring 500 people off the street by year’s end and announced plans to buy hotels to turn into housing for 1,600 residents. To support this work, King County will partner with FUSE Corps for one year to review how stakeholders throughout the region are managing housing growth and allocating resources. The FUSE Executive Fellow will then build out data-driven regional solutions for addressing the county’s housing crisis. This will include building coalitions of stakeholders and forecasting the housing needs of King County’s residents to drive long-term change and ensure that the county can ultimately provide enough homes for those who need them at a price they can afford.