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One Seattle Homelessness Action Plan Posts Q4 and Year-End 2023 Data

Seattle – Today, Deputy Mayor Tiffany Washington shared 2023 data from the City’s Unified Care Team (UCT) and an update on the City’s One Seattle Homelessness Action Plan.  

The UCT reported more than 2,200 accepted shelter referrals for 2023, as well as a 24% decrease in tents and a 51% decrease in RV encampments from the beginning of the year. The end of Q4-2023 snapshot of verified unauthorized encampments includes 523 documented tents and 227 documented RVs located throughout the city. UCT crews also removed more than 5.9 million pounds of trash and debris from city streets, sidewalks, and other public spaces, and triaged more than 41,000 constituent service requests in less than three days.     

Also included in the update was public safety encampment data, which showed a 16% decrease in the number of fires at encampments in 2023, and a 41% decrease in shootings that occurred at an encampment or involved a victim or offender that was experiencing homelessness. This decrease in violent or dangerous elements at encampments demonstrates progress following UCT’s implementation of their site prioritization process, which elevates sites with higher public impact to be addressed sooner based on objective criteria.  

Other highlights from the Homelessness Action Plan’s update included information about the City’s ongoing investments in increasing the supply of housing – especially affordable housing – and streamlining the permit approval process. In 2023, 1,400 new affordable homes were opened, and permit approval times for new affordable housing averaged 253 days – meeting the goal set by Mayor Harrell in 2022 of achieving permit approvals under one year. An additional 7,600 affordable homes are currently in various stages of development, with openings expected over the next 1-3 years.

Snapshot Data from the 2023 Q4 update: 

  • December verified tents: 523 (687 in January —a 24% reduction) 
  • December verified RV encampments: 227 (460 in January – a 51% reduction)  

Shelter Referral/Enrollment Data:

  • Total accepted shelter referrals: 2,204 (up from 1,831 in 2022 and 1,203 in 2021)
  • Total verified shelter enrollments: 970 (up from 746 in 2022 and 576 in 2021) 

New Public Safety Data: 

  • Total emergency medical response calls in 2023: 12,948 (increasing slightly to an average of 35 calls per day) 
  • Total fires at tent/RV encampments in 2023: 1,351 (decreased by 16% from 2022) 
  • Total shots fired or shooting incidents connected to homelessness in 2023: 69 (decrease of 41% from 2022)  

Driven by data, the One Seattle Homelessness Action Plan will continue to showcase the City’s priorities and actions to make progress on our objectives to get people indoors, create places for people to live, and develop innovative and regional solutions to ensure sustainable progress. Future updates to the website and dashboard will include more details about the implementation of Neighborhood Teams within the City’s Unified Care Team. All five neighborhood teams were launched in Q4 2023.