Road to Rainier, Dennis Ott Photography, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

About the Regional Homelessness Authority

Building on the Puget Sound region’s spirit of innovation and vision of shared prosperity, the KCRHA was designed to unify and coordinate policy, funding, and services for people experiencing homelessness across all of King County.

Our mission is to significantly decrease the incidence of homelessness throughout King County, using equity and social justice principles.

Our theory of change: If we create a homelessness response system that centers customer voice (the voices of those who have lived experience of homelessness), then we will be able to focus on responding to needs and eliminating inequities, in order to end homelessness for all.

Background

In August of 2018, the City of Seattle and surrounding King County partnered with the National Innovation Service (formerly Future Laboratories) to launch a community-driven listening process — including businesses, service providers, and people who have personal experience with homelessness — in order to design a stronger and more coordinated response to what has become an unacceptable humanitarian crisis. The resulting recommendations included consolidating homeless response programs and services into one regional government system with authority over and accountability for dramatically reducing homelessness.

With the passage of new legislation and an Interlocal Agreement (ILA), the King County Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRHA or RHA) was created to apply racial equity and social justice principles, use real-time granular and localized data to drive decisions, and implement proven strategies through a coordinated, collaborative, regional effort.

KCRHA was created at the end of 2019 but faced significant delays due to the global coronavirus pandemic. In March 2021, the RHA Governing Committee brought on the first CEO, Marc Dones, and they began work the following month, focusing on hiring staff, reaching out to community members, and tailoring plans for each sub-region of King County.

Team

Media inquiries please email: anne.martens (at) kcrha (dot) org

General inquiries please email: info (at) kcrha (dot) org

Services

Following a thorough review of programs and services, the RHA will coordinate all publicly-funded outreach, diversion, shelter, rapid re-housing, transitional housing and permanent supportive housing services and most of the region’s prevention efforts for Seattle, King County, and other cities who choose to sign on to the ILA.

KCRHA will provide consolidated, aligned services for individuals, youth, and families who are experiencing homelessness or who are at imminent risk of experiencing homelessness in King County. We will coordinate existing services for people experiencing homelessness, and will design, fund, and operate other homelessness and related social servces using equity and social justice principles.

Funding

King County is dedicating about $55 million in service and administrative funding (based on 2019 annualized program amounts) and $1.8 million to support start-up. The City of Seattle is dedicating approximately $73 million for services and administrative funding, and up to $2 million for start-up costs. Actual funding will be subject to appropriations through the normal budget process of the respective councils and through a pending decision of the All Home Coordinating Board. Funding from King County and Seattle includes more than $42 million of federally awarded Continuum of Care funds

Structure

The Interlocal Agreement (ILA) and charter create a Public Development Authority (PDA) and describe the role, scope, and purpose of the KCRHA:

  • Unified planning and coordination of funding and services for people experiencing homelessness countywide.
  • Oversight on policy, contract management, and performance management.
  • Continuum of Care functions, as required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to receive federal funding, formerly housed within “All Home.”
  • Creation of a new governance structure to guide financial and strategic decision making, including roles and proposed composition of a Steering Committee, Governing Board and Advisory Committees.
  • Hiring of a CEO to lead the work of the RHA.
  • Creation of a new Ombuds Office to serve as a single point of contact for customers.
  • Establishment of clear metrics and milestones for measuring success and for ensuring accountability and transparency.

Governance

The 11-member Governing Committee provides high-level guidance, management, and oversight. Three members must have personal experience with homelessness (also known as “lived experience” or “lived expertise”). The King County Executive, King County Council, Seattle Mayor, and Seattle City Council each appoint two members. Three members represent the Sound Cities Association. The Governing Committee hires, fires, and reviews the performance of the CEO.

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