NEWS GLEAMS | WA Needs to Build 1M Homes Over Next 20 Years; Cohort Applications Open for Black Storytelling

A roundup of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!

curated by Vee Hua 華婷婷

✨Gleaming This Week✨

Sourced from “Updating GMA Housing Elements.” (Graphic: Washington State Department of Commerce)

Washington State Needs More Than 1 Million Homes Over the Next 20 Years

In a report released by the Washington State Department of Commerce last week, Washington State will only be able to meet its projected housing needs if it adds 1.1 million homes over the next 20 years, which averages to 50,000 new units annually. More than half will need to be affordable for those at the lowest income levels, as per the final housing projections.

According to the press release from DOC, “The report is based on census data and the Office of Financial Management’s population projections.” It also emerges from 2021 changes that amended the Growth Management Act (GMA) framework to “‘plan for and accommodate’ housing affordable to all income levels,” significantly strengthening and providing more specificity than the GMA’s original goal, which was simply to “encourage affordable housing.” The changes require a focus on housing that costs no more than 30% of household income, as recent federal data suggests approximately 30% of Washingtonians pay more than 30% of their household income on housing.

Projected housing is also expected to include emergency housing and permanent supportive housing, to serve people at risk of or experiencing homelessness. “The final housing numbers estimate the need for approximately 91,360 units of emergency housing by 2044,” according to the press release.

King County Executive Dow Constantine speaks at the Skyway fire station, celebrating the conclusion and the results of the first participatory budget for unincorporated King County, in August 2022. (Photo: Agueda Pacheco Flores)

King County’s Participatory Budgeting Program Seeks Steering Committee Members

Following last year’s successful inaugural run of participatory budgeting, King County returns with its Participatory Budgeting program in 2023 to deliver community-driven funding to unincorporated areas of the county. During an event covered by the Emerald in August 2022, “King County Executive Dow Constantine said that for at least two decades, the County had floated doing something like a participatory budget, which engages with the community and gives them autonomy over how funds are spent in their towns.”

The county is now seeking members to join their steering committee who will help design the next participatory budgeting cycle for the cities of East Federal Way, East Renton, Fairwood, Skyway, and White Center/North Highline.

The deadline for application has been extended to 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 7. It is a paid volunteer position ($50/hour), estimating 4–8 hours/per month with bi-weekly meetings held virtually on Wednesday evenings, until December 2024.

Learn more about participatory budgeting or apply online to join the Participatory Budgeting Steering Committee.

Brenetta Ward getting ready to interview Drego Little. (Photo: Melvin Rader)

Wa Na Wari Accepts Applications for Seattle Black Spatial Histories Institute Until March 10

Running from June 2023 to June 2025, Wa Na Wari’s second installment of the Seattle Black Spatial Histories Institute (SBSHI) will train a cohort of six members over the course of two years, to learn techniques and best practices of oral history and Black memory work.

According to a press release from The Seattle Public Library, “cohort members will work with historians, archivists, geographers, librarians, artists,” as well as “acquire skills in archival research methods, audio recording techniques, oral history interviewing techniques, transcription, story editing, audio editing and public art proposal and activation processes.”

Each cohort member for the second installment will receive a stipend; the total amount will be $10,000 for all cohort members over the course of two years. Those who are encouraged to apply include those with a deep curiosity of local Black history, have a deep connection to the Central District or Black Seattle, and have a strong commitment to community accountability. Previous experience is not required, but there is a significant time commitment and a number of specific requirements and expectations.

The first cohort completed their training in June 2022. They are now working on creative activations of the stories they recorded, which will culminate in an exhibit at Wa Na Wari in November 2023.

Learn more about Seattle Black Spatial Histories; deadline for application is 11:59 p.m. on Friday, March 10.

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