Pearl Jam plays home show to fight homelessness

Over 15,000 people in region without permanent place to sleep

One night in January 2018, volunteers in King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap counties set out to tally the number of people without a permanent place to sleep in the annual Point-in-Time Count. They found over 15,000 people experiencing homelessness. More than half were unsheltered or in vehicles.

Chart showing number of people experiencing homelessness in each county.

Pearl Jam, an iconic grunge-era band formed in Seattle in 1990, is challenging the region to come together to fight homelessness, emphasizing that many households are just one crisis away from being in the same predicament. The data shows that about 30% of homeowners and 45% of renters in the region are paying an unsustainable amount of their income towards housing.

The burden of housing costs is particularly difficult for people with lower income. These households are often the most at risk to lose their housing and experience homelessness. The Housing Development Consortium found that a $100 increase in rent is associated with an increase in the rate of homelessness of between 6% and 32%. More than 100,000 low-income renters pay more than 50% of their income on housing in the region.

PSRC’s recent draft forecast anticipates the region will add about 1.8 million more people by 2050. That growth will result in about 830,000 new households. A significant challenge facing the region is to produce enough new and affordable housing units to meet this expected growth.

The VISION 2050 planning process is an opportunity to identify coordinated strategies, policies, and actions to ensure that the region's housing needs are met. Find out more at https://www.psrc.org/vision.

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