King County buys third hotel to house chronically homeless individuals
King County Executive Dow Constantine announced Thursday that the county has purchased its third supportive housing property to help those who are chronically homeless.
The purchase is part of the county’s Health through Housing Initiative, which is a regional approach to bring homeless individuals off the street and into permanent housing in hotels and other facilities.
Report: Chronic homelessness reaches crisis levels in King County
The third property is the former Holiday Inn Express & Suites North Seattle, located on Aurora Avenue North. The program has also acquired a facility in Queen Anne with 80 units, and one in Renton with 110 units. The North Seattle hotel will add 99 available units.
“We’re glad to be able to partner with the City of Seattle on the County’s third hotel purchase to help our most vulnerable residents regain health and stability,” Constantine said. “Health through Housing is a powerful tool to change people’s lives, helping them off the street and into a safe and secure place to call home.”
Once up and running, the hotel will provide housing for people experiencing chronic or long-term homelessness, and 24/7 onsite staffing that will include case management and access to physical and behavioral health services. The onsite service provider has not yet been determined.
“As a result of COVID-19, our homelessness humanitarian crisis has been exacerbated, leaving many without shelter in our parks and playfields, sidewalks, and the Downtown core. While we continue urgent recovery efforts, Seattle and King County continue to show that by working together we can begin to address our most challenging issues,” said Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan. “Today’s investment is another significant step in that direction. Executive Constantine has been a true partner to work collaboratively to ensure people experiencing homelessness have shelter options located throughout the King County region. Over the coming months, together we will move hundreds of individuals safe shelter alternatives and most importantly to a permanent housing solution.”
King County Human Services head: Housing homeless in hotels is a ‘faster, cheaper’ solution
Health through Housing was introduced by Executive Constantine in his 2020 budget speech. It dedicates one tenth of a cent of sales tax revenue for the purchase of hotels, motels, and other single-room settings for use as emergency and permanent, supportive housing for homeless individuals in King County. The county council approved the initiative and implementation of the funding.