74.13.801  <<  74.13.802 >>   74.13.901

Child welfare housing assistance pilot program. (Expires June 30, 2022.)

*** CHANGE IN 2020 *** (SEE 2525-S.SL) ***
(1) Beginning July 1, 2020, the department shall establish a child welfare housing assistance pilot program, which provides housing vouchers, rental assistance, navigation, and other support services to eligible families.
(a) The department shall operate or contract for the operation of the child welfare housing assistance pilot program under subsection (3) of this section in one county west of the crest of the Cascade mountain range and one county east of the crest of the Cascade mountain range.
(b) The child welfare housing assistance pilot program is intended to shorten the time that children remain in out-of-home care.
(2) A parent with a child who is dependent pursuant to chapter 13.34 RCW and whose primary remaining barrier to reunification is the lack of appropriate housing is eligible for the child welfare housing assistance pilot program.
(3) The department shall contract with an outside entity or entities to operate the child welfare housing assistance pilot program. If no outside entity or entities are available to operate the program or specific parts of the program, the department may operate the program or the specific parts that are not operated by an outside entity.
(4) Families may be referred to the child welfare housing assistance pilot program by a caseworker, an attorney, a guardian ad litem as defined in chapter 13.34 RCW, a child welfare parent mentor as defined in RCW 2.70.060, an office of public defense social worker, or the court.
(5) The department shall consult with a stakeholder group that must include, but is not limited to, the following:
(a) Parent allies;
(b) Parent attorneys and social workers managed by the office of public defense parent representation program;
(c) The department of commerce;
(d) Housing experts;
(e) Community-based organizations;
(f) Advocates; and
(g) Behavioral health providers.
(6) The stakeholder group established in subsection (5) of this section shall begin meeting after July 28, 2019, and assist the department in design of the child welfare housing assistance pilot program in areas including, but not limited to:
(a) Equitable racial, geographic, ethnic, and gender distribution of program support;
(b) Eligibility criteria;
(c) Creating a definition of homeless for purposes of eligibility for the program; and
(d) Options for program design that include outside entities operating the entire program or specific parts of the program.
(7) By December 1, 2021, the department shall report outcomes for the child welfare housing assistance pilot program to the oversight board for children, youth, and families established pursuant to RCW 43.216.015. The report must include racial, geographic, ethnic, and gender distribution of program support.
(8) The child welfare housing assistance pilot program established in this section is subject to the availability of funds appropriated for this purpose.
(9) This section expires June 30, 2022.
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