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Seattle mayor wants to use money from land sale for homeless

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SEATTLE -- Mayor Jenny Durkan wants to use $11 million in proceeds from the expected sale of a city-owned property to fund new rental assistance and short-term housing options for the homeless.

The Seattle Times reports the move is one of the first steps taken by her still-new administration toward delivering on a key campaign proposal — developing 1,000 new tiny houses for people in homelessness and ramping up rental-assistance programs.

Durkan said the sale of the unspecified South Lake Union property is expected to net around $11 million.

On Wednesday, she'll ask the Seattle City Council to pass a resolution asking to designate the new funds for her new Bridge Housing Investment program, which could include developing tiny homes, modular housing and backyard cottages, with a goal of quickly move people off the streets and into temporary shelter.

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"There is no one solution that is going to fix our crisis," she said in an interview. "And this kind of project is exactly what we need to be doing to explore our options."

Her proposal calls for using $5.5 million on the Bridge Housing program, and another $2 million on temporary rent subsidies. The two-year pilot program will provide financial assistance for around 150 single adults and families who are on the waiting list for Seattle Housing Authority Housing Choice vouchers and in danger of becoming homeless in their current homes.

Durkan said the property sale should close next summer. In the meantime, she said her team will carve out a "cost-effective" new strategy for spending the money and a plan for locating the new shelter resources. Remaining funds will go toward design costs for a new fire station in South Lake Union and other projects.