MYNORTHWEST NEWS

King County buys fourth hotel to house homeless individuals

Jul 14, 2021, 4:22 PM | Updated: Jul 15, 2021, 6:59 am

Hotels homeless...

A former hotel purchased by King County to house its homeless population. (King County)

(King County)

King County continues to expand its roster of hotels to house the region’s homeless population, announcing the purchase of Redmond’s Silver Cloud Inn on Wednesday.

Housing homeless in hotels is a ‘faster, cheaper’ solution

The county purchased the hotel for $28.25 million, with plans to house as many as 144 people once it’s up and running. It will also offer residents round-the-clock case management and behavioral health services.

This marks the latest in a series of hotel purchases by King County as part of its “Health Through Housing” initiative. Under that plan, the county hopes to establish “up to 1,600 emergency housing and supportive housing units for people experiencing chronic homelessness.”

“Across King County, communities are stepping up to the challenge of addressing chronic homelessness, and I am excited to partner with Mayor Birney and the City of Redmond on the next step,” Executive Dow Constantine said in a news release.

The county has now purchased four hotels, including a Holiday Inn Express in North Seattle, the Inn at Queen Anne (also in Seattle), and an Extended Stay America in Renton.

Report: Chronic homelessness reaches crisis levels in King County

Local leaders first began moving homeless individuals into vacant hotels during the pandemic, yielding positive results in preliminary studies conducted by University of Washington researchers.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, as we moved people out of congregate shelters and into hotels to keep them safe, we learned a very important lesson,” said King County Councilmember Claudia Balducci. “When you give a person experiencing homelessness a door, privacy, and security, it makes a huge difference in their ability to stabilize, take care of their health, and start thinking about how they can move from homelessness to housing.”

The strategy also faced early obstacles, when homeless residents being housed in a Renton hotel were evicted following a series of complaints from neighbors.

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