A Regional Coalition for Housing (ARCH) and Homelessness Partnership

ARCH is essentially a partnership between county cities who joined together to assist with preserving and increasing the supply of housing for low and moderate income households in the Seattle area. Assisting member governments developing housing policies, strategies, programs, and development regulations; coordinates cities’ financial support to groups creating affordable housing for low and moderate income households, and assisting people looking for affordable rental and ownership housing is the basic function of ARCH. The housing they help to create is meant to serve individuals, families, seniors, the homeless, and people with special needs. ARCH’s mission is to coordinate public resources in way that attracts greater private and not-for-profit investment in affordable housing, pooling technical resources between jurisdictions to assist in development and implementation housing policies and programs, providing expert assistance to local organizations interested in becoming active in affordable housing provisions, providing ongoing community involvement, information and leadership directed towards housing needs, and finally providing information to the community on local housing issues.

The Homelessness Partnership could use some help, especially since they have noticed cities like Seattle, Bellevue, Redmond, and Sammamish getting trapped in the “quick fix” or “putting up the numbers” trap. The problem therein lies in nothing being done to break up the patterns of homelessness, and little insignificant changes made for families and individuals to realize the potential to contribute fully to their communities. These efforts failed because of interwoven but preventable factors putting people at risk of homelessness were virtually disregarded, and little willingness exists to test different approaches that could prove effective in the long term. Therefore, the goal of the Homelessness Partnership is to amass solid, field-tested evidence of what works and why. Through this approach, the Homelessness Partnership hopes to identify the best practices for helping people stay stably housed, then advocate for the working practices to become policies. The Homelessness Partnership realizes that the crucial part of helping people is to change how things happen. While helping clients advance their individual paths towards greater housing stability, they can also advance the understanding of how to prevent housing instability in the first place. Ideally, the practice would create a win-win situation for the Homelessness Partnership and those the organization helps.

Which is exactly the goal of the Housing Development Coalition; bringing people together to help solve the problems of lack of decent housing and homelessness. Someday the Housing Development Coalition wants to get America’s states to lobby for the development of low income housing development, but they need help getting there. That’s where ARCH and the Homelessness Partnership come in. By working together, these organizations can create programs and policies that are much more than a “quick fix.” Collaboration for better communities in cities like Seattle is the goal of the Housing Development Coalition, and by working together a better, stronger community can emerge from the efforts of all organizations involved. Change can be achieved.