SDGs Now, MDGS Before

Written by Marty Kooistra, HDC Executive Director

No, this isn’t another round of HALA, nor the latest from Donald Trump on military strategy.  It is a moment to celebrate that the United Nations has acknowledged the importance of housing in the shaping of the next iteration of the Millennium Development Goals (approved in 2000), now called the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs.


One of the targets in the new SDGs is “access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing.” This marks an acknowledgement of what many of us working in the shelter/housing sector have been clamoring for; housing is inextricably linked to many facets of livelihood and poverty alleviation.

The 11th Sustainable Development Goal

The 11th Sustainable Development Goal

More and more we are seeing evidence that affordable housing, or really the lack thereof, may find its way into more prominence in the political arena deliberations.  HDC will redouble its efforts in 2016 to ensure that the connection of Housing and Education—Housing and Health—Housing and Transit will lift the crisis to a level of urgency, whilst creating the influence necessary to bring significant new investments.


It’s a propitious moment in time and we will wrestle each day to realize the leverage of the new Seattle Levy Campaign, “Under One Roof” (more coming soon on this!) with the new “All Home” King County Campaign focusing on making Homelessness Rare, Brief and One Time. Not to mention the work of “Seattle For Everyone,” the coalition working to ensure the implementation of the HALA recommendations.

Wow!  Possibly, but I think most importantly, is the grounding it takes for each one of you and us to stay in our respective swim lanes, enduring the laps.  For me, the lingering of one of Plymouth Housing Groups residents saying in their recent luncheon video “don’t give up on us” will suffice for a few more laps.  Hope you have your grounding!