Join AIA Seattle’s Committee on Homelessness

AIA Seattle’s public policy advocacy efforts span all aspects of a well-designed, livable city. Our concept of a livable city includes one where everyone has a home. AIA Seattle’s Public Policy Board has been exploring issues related to homelessness and how the organization can make a difference. The Board has approved a Homelessness Issue Brief outlining the work ahead and prioritized member and community education and awareness as our primary focus.

We are looking for AIA Seattle members who are interested in homelessness issues to join our Committee on Homelessness. Interested members may participate as much or as little as they like and will be invited to help shape AIA Seattle’s response to this issue. Initial meetings will be held on a monthly basis with other opportunities to participate as our work continues. Currently, the Committee has three active subcommittees: Educate, Advocate and Serve.

Architects will not be able to address all of the issues associated with homelessness, nor are we experts on homelessness issues. But we do have a strong desire to learn, understand and provide assistance. Shelter as a basic human right is a value at the heart of the profession, and architects feel compelled to act. Please join us as we shape AIA Seattle’s response to this prevalent and pressing problem.

Initial activity will focus around these areas:

  • Educate AIA members about the complex challenges involved in finding solutions to homelessness and provide opportunities for interested members to take direct action.
  • Invite discussion about complex issues related to design and development, housing affordability, displacement and homelessness.

Engage in direct advocacy as an association and provide members with opportunities to engage individually:

  • Advocate for policies that allow for more housing of all types, including increased flexibility to design a range of housing types and styles.
  • Advocate for a wide range of emergency, long-term and permanent housing options, including existing and new structures.
  • Promote increased funding for affordable housing through both public and market mechanisms.
  • Provide volunteer opportunities that engage members on issues related to homelessness and provide direct connection with individuals experiencing homelessness.
  • Explore the creation of a pro bono clearinghouse for architects interested in providing design and redesign services for shelters and other housing providers.
  • Identify and explore other action items.

If you are interested in joining the AIA Seattle Homelessness Task Force, or for additional information, please contact Kirsten Smith by email or phone at 206-448-4938 x401.