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Seattle considers pop-up ‘pallet shelter’ in latest effort for homeless crisis

Seattle officials are considering a new kind of “pop-up” shelter they say could help people find permanent housing, known as a pallet shelter.

Pallet Shelter is an Everett-based company that builds temporary housing units. On Thursday, work crews set up the company’s “Shelter 64” model on City Hall Plaza — one of three models the company produces.

The 64-square-foot unit has a bunk bed system that can house a family of four. It can potentially have electricity, heating and cooling.

Councilwoman Teresa Mosqueda, who chairs the council’s Housing, Health, Energy, and Workers Rights Committee, pitched the idea after learning of the shelter’s success in Lynnwood and Tacoma.

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“There’s a 40 percent success rate of getting people into housing,” Mosqueda said. “That’s about twice as successful as we’ve been here in Seattle.”

Mosqueda envisions a shelter set-up similar to Tacoma, where there’s on-site case management and laundry services.

The pallet shelters cost between $3,500 and $7,500, depending on size and amenities. That’s cheaper than the tiny houses Seattle currently uses in sanctioned homeless camps.

“We cannot take dollars from the existing shelter options that we have,” Mosqueda said. “We need to make sure that folks who are in our current shelters have the funding that they need.”

It’s not yet known how many pallet shelters Seattle is considering or where they could be set up.

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