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05/18/2021 11 Consideration of letters of supportI BUSINESS OF THE CITY COUNCIL YAKIMA, WASHINGTON AGENDASTATEMENT Item No. 11. For Meeting of: May 18, 2021 ITEM TITLE: Consideration of letters of support SUBMITTED BY: Robert Harrison, City Manager SUMMARY EXPLANATION: Attached for Council's consideration are draft letters of support for the Yakima Housing Authority and the YWCA. ITEM BUDGETED: STRATEGIC PRIORITY: APPROVED FOR SUBMITTAL BY THE CITY MANAGER RECOMMENDATION: Approve letters. ATTACHMENTS: Description Upload Date Type D YHA 5/14/2021 Cover Memo D YWCA 5/14/2021 Cover Memo The Honorable Patty Murray United States Senator for Washington State Washington, DC 20510 Dear Senator Murray, The Yakima City Council and the City of Yakima strongly and wholeheartedly support the Yakima Housing Authority's (YHA) request for Congressionally Directed Spending to assist in the construction of much -needed affordable housing in Downtown Yakima. The project envisioned by YHA, in partnership with the City of Yakrfiwould help address the ongoing critical shortage of affordable housing that is being experienced in the Yakima community. The current vacancy rate for all housing in the city �f Yakima is about 1 %. The extraordinarily low vacancy rate in our community has contra fitted tenet only an increase in the cost to purchase a home here, but has resulted in an increase in the od t of renting housing. YHA and the City intend to work together to build affordable housing for families, specifically on a parcel of property in the downtown core which isurrently exited and controlled by the City. The possible property location is within a HUD des'16nated,,ot alified Census Tract, meaning that 50% of households in the area earn less than 60% Area Mean Income. In addition to affordable housing units, the t and/or early childhood learning center for tl,, In addition to a severe housing shortage, th especially in the downtown core `Nat:only downtown Yakima, it would alo"""provide an parents living or working dow town. s t also intehd ..to include a first -floor daycare srdertts :of the b�rilding and other nearby families. is a' fti:irte of child care providers in Yakima, d t o projed bring affordable housing to &tunity for child care services nearby for The conceptual first -floor d6 are hdldf: afly,,Qhildhood learning center would be operated through a partnership,with a non fofit provider; such as Enterprise for Progress in the Community (EPC) e arit� her qualified entity, to keep the services affordable for the residents and neighbors''':'arking wilt":,undertoof in order to maximize the amount of square footage for housing. The City is committed to providing resources to help fund and develop this project. Similarly, YHA is committed to;,,r-ovidirlt he expertise necessary for development of the project and is willing to partner with tf 'i to bring this project to fruition. Both the City and YHA are committed to findings ways to bring more affordable housing to Yakima to help individuals and their families as well as to address the child care "desert" that exists in the area. The Yakima City Council and the City of Yakima urge you to give careful consideration to the request for Congressionally Directed Spending from YHA to support this crucial affordable housing project. Sincerely, Patricia Byers Yakima Mayor The Honorable Patty Murray United States Senator for Washington State Washington, DC 20510 Dear Senator Murray, The Yakima City Council and the City of Yakima are excited to support the YWCA's proposal to bring more housing opportunities to victims of domestic violence. The project envisioned by the YWCA would help address the ongotFi emergency and transitional housing units for victims of domestio toie experienced in the Yakima community. Currently the YWCA ha,,,limii housing. Oftentimes our officers are called by victims who need to°i households, but have no place to refer victims due to the:YWCA bein more resources for victims of domestic violence, espe lelly housing n limited number of safe housing units operated by the YWCA, coupled critical shortage of ice that is being ,d capacity in their ve the violence in their "at capacity. We need sorges, in Yakima. The low vacancy rate in our community creates a crisis Ofor victim '*o need to after a domestic violence incident. Sadly, Yakima experiences domestic viol tic, According to the YWCA, the rate of incide0t� twice as high as the average of the entire sty 7.4 incidents per 1,000 in Washington). Furt! City has averaged 16 new dome, d:violence to countless calls for service tr'domeattc vio the Yakima Herald Repo,"" noted that there domestic violence from 20 i=to 2020 in Yeki extraordinarily housing quickly a rate higher than the rest of the state. omestic viole nce per 1,000 residents is almost 3 9 lncidents:p'er 1,000 in Yakima compared to art the last uvelve weeks prior to this letter, the Mal charges filed per week. Officers respond e each day. A newspaper article from 2020 in ��been at least 12 homicides linked to ciaiminn-at-least-1 iiv in -five) ticle f76437cf-54f0-5f06-b66c-19c3693f1237.html. In January, 2021,oman was �brutaily attacked and run over by the father of her ce-achild. httS I/www maherald cdnewseime and courts/woman-dies-after-brutal-domestic- violenttask4111 a s�akima article fl6457ff-1293-5b6b-9535-1 b4b6a053f2d.html. Domestic violence is a sercis and urgentproblem in our community. The effects of domestic violence on the community are ` i pificant; hd far-reaching. The City Attorney's Officered Yakima Police Department have been working collaboratively with Yakima County to create a collaborative system to track domestic violence perpetrators. It is in its infancy, but shows the high level of commitment to addressing this serious issue in our community. Many perpetrators have cases in multiple courts, are repeat offenders, and are known to be dangerous. Further, in the last two years the City added its own domestic violence advocate on staff. She is being kept busy with the high caseload of domestic violence cases. She has been integral in working with victims to get them to understand the process, the court system, and service provider options. The prosecution division of the City Attorney's office is currently seeking funding to hire a second domestic violence advocate. The lack of available emergency housing for victims of domestic violence is a serious issue in this community. The City supports the YWCA's proposal that would increase housing opportunities for victims. With an increase in housing capacity, our officers and domestic violence advocate will be better able to help victims establish a safe residence away from their abuser. The City is committed to continuing to prioritize addressing domestic violence in the community. The YWCA's proposed project would be a tremendous asset to the City and the community, and the City fully supports and endorses the project. The Yakima City Council and the City of Yakima urge you to consider the request for Congressionally Directed Spending from the YWCA to support this crucial project to help victims of domestic violence. Sincerely, Patricia Bye - Yakima May