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King County buys hotel in Renton to house homeless

King County bought the hotel in Renton for nearly $29 million dollars. (King County Executive Dow Constantine via Twitter)

King County bought a second hotel — this time in Renton — to help house the homeless population.

The former Extended Stay America hotel cost the county $28.6 million dollars and includes about 100 units.

“Chronic homelessness is a regional challenge, and joining with our partners in Renton, we are creating a regional solution with Health Through Housing,” Executive Dow Constantine said in a news conference on Tuesday. “I couldn’t be happier to partner with Mayor Pavone and the City of Renton in this collaboration to create more safe and stable housing in South King County for more than 100 people who would otherwise be outside.”

“We know homelessness has no boundaries, and we recognize the challenges ahead,” said Renton Mayor Armondo Pavone. “We will partner with local service providers, governments, and the community to provide opportunities for a solution. We are confident our partnership with King County and Executive Constantine will allow us to address the needs of some of our most vulnerable populations.”

King County bought its first hotel, the “Inn at Queen Anne” in Seattle’s Uptown neighborhood, as part of the “Health Through Housing” initiative on March 11, 2021.

Constantine also promised to have several more properties to talk about in the coming months, with the goal of providing housing to 1,600 chronically homeless residents.

A study out of the University of Washington last fall found that the stability of a hotel afforded benefits beyond a shelter, regardless of whether there was a pandemic.

“What this setting allowed them to do is start to think — instead of just, how am I going to get through today, I’m going to start thinking about what my life looks like a month, or six months, or a year from now,” professor Gregg Colburn told KIRO Radio’s Dave Ross.

The City of Seattle announced in February that it would be using hotels as 24/7 enhanced shelter spaces for homeless individuals. The Executive Hotel Pacific reopened its doors in March to help house the homeless. The city also opened over 60 rooms at Belltown’s Kings Inn in April. Both sites include some combination of wraparound services, case management, housing navigation services, and more.

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