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MRSC Insight Blog


Posts for Homelessness

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Recapping the November 2023 Local Ballot Measure Results

There were a 113 ballot measures before voters this past November, in an off-year election that drew record-low voter turnouts. How did that impact levy lid lifts requests, newly proposed districts, or citizen's initiatives? 

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New Ninth Circuit Ruling Addresses Anti-Camping Ordinances

New Ninth Circuit Ruling Addresses Anti-Camping Ordinances

Last month, the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision that provides clarification and guidance to local governments on camping bans and ordinances. 

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A Primer on Safe Parking Programs for People Experiencing Homelessness

A Primer on Safe Parking Programs for People Experiencing Homelessness

Safe parking programs are operated on behalf of people who use a vehicle as their residence. They give users a sense of security while also connecting them to critical human and social services. 

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Severe Weather Shelters for Winter and Beyond

Severe Weather Shelters for Winter and Beyond

During a severe weather event, unsheltered individuals are most at risk of adverse impacts. This blog looks at how local governments in Washington State have prepared to care for at-risk populations during periods of extreme heat, extreme cold, or poor air quality.

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City of Seattle v. Long: Vehicle Homestead Rights and Excessive Fines

City of Seattle v. Long: Vehicle Homestead Rights and Excessive Fines

Seattle v. Long challenged long-held practices regarding parking enforcement. The Washington Supreme Court finally issued its ruling on the case, expanding the circumstances under which fines may be challenged as excessive and clarifying how homestead rights apply to vehicles. 

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Non-Traditional Approaches Used by Local Governments to Address Homelessness

Non-Traditional Approaches Used by Local Governments to Address Homelessness

This blog looks at municipal programs that use hotels and motels to provide temporary housing for people experiencing homelessness. 

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2021 Housing and Planning-Related Legislative Outcomes

2021 Housing and Planning-Related Legislative Outcomes

This blog post summarizes several housing and planning-related bills that were passed during the 2021 legislative session.  

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Changing Your Zoning Code to Accommodate Housing and Shelters for the Homeless

Changing Your Zoning Code to Accommodate Housing and Shelters for the Homeless

This blog provides and overview and guidance regarding E2SHB 1220, which encourages local governments to take active steps to accommodate transitional housing, emergency shelters, and similar facilities via zoning and regulatory updates.

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Caring for the Homeless Challenged by Winter Weather, COVID-19

Caring for the Homeless Challenged by Winter Weather, COVID-19

This blog post looks at how local governments are providing for the homeless, despite the twin challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and winter weather.

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Keeping People Housed: Homelessness Prevention Strategies to Bridge Emergencies

Keeping People Housed: Homelessness Prevention Strategies to Bridge Emergencies

This blog post identifies root cause contributors to homelessness and details a variety of prevention strategies for local governments.

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Living in Vehicles: How Homestead Rights Affect Municipal Impounds

Living in Vehicles: How Homestead Rights Affect Municipal Impounds

This blog post suggests that local government impound procedures should be reviewed to ensure that these don't impede upon the 'homestead rights' of people living out of their vehicles. 

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New Legislation on Temporary Homeless Encampments

New Legislation on Temporary Homeless Encampments

ESHB 1754 takes effect on June 11, 2020, and imposes additional conditions on cities and counties when regulating religious organizations hosting the homeless.

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What Are Local Governments Doing in Response to <em>Martin v. City of Boise</em>?

What Are Local Governments Doing in Response to Martin v. City of Boise?

This blog post looks at how Washington local governments are adjusting to the 2018 ruling Martin v. City of Boise, which addressed ordinances that prohibit sleeping or camping on public property. 

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Permanent Supportive Housing: One Option for Addressing Homelessness

Permanent Supportive Housing: One Option for Addressing Homelessness

This blog post looks at permanent supportive housing, which offers low-barrier affordable housing, health care, and supportive services to formerly homeless individuals, by profiling a related project in Everett. 

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Announcing an Updated Homelessness & Housing Toolkit

Announcing an Updated Homelessness & Housing Toolkit

In 2017 MRSC partnered with the Association of Washington Cities to develop the Homelessness & Housing Toolkit for Cities. This publication has been updated for 2019 and covers such hot-topic items as SHB 1406, Martin v. City of Boise, and more. 

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Homelessness and the Limits of Enforcement

Homelessness and the Limits of Enforcement

This blog post looks at the legal issues involving homelessness, and how these issues can limit a municipality's response to unauthorized encampments, panhandling, and car camping. 

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Is Your Camping Ordinance Constitutional?

Is Your Camping Ordinance Constitutional?

This blog will examine the recent Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals case, Martin v. City of Boise, and discuss how this ruling may impact Washington local governments. 

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Land Use and Nuisances Legislative Update

Land Use and Nuisances Legislative Update

In this blog post, Legal Consultant Oskar Rey looks at several bills passed in the last legislative session that address land use, nuisance, and code enforcement issues.

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No Magic Homelessness Bullet

No Magic Homelessness Bullet

Solutions for tackling homelessness need to be as varied as the people who experience it and the causes of homelessness itself. Policy Consultant Lynn Nordby looks at some innovative solutions, from 3-D printed houses to repurposed shipping containers. 

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Conestoga Huts Offer More Options for Housing the Homeless

Conestoga Huts Offer More Options for Housing the Homeless

A housing for the homeless program in Eugene using Conestoga Hut program is immensely popular with long waiting lists. Learn more about this program and the city regulations that have allowed it to flourish.

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