King County moves to acquire Federal Way’s Red Lion hotel
The former Red Lion Hotel in Federal Way could be acquired by King County as part of the Department of Commerce’s Rapid Capital Housing Acquisition (RCHA) program.
The department’s Housing Finance Unit lists the property among 14 applications of potential sites for conversion into low-income housing. Uses for property acquired in this way include enhanced emergency sheltering, permanent supportive housing, transitional housing, permanent housing, youth housing, drop-in centers, shelter for people with extremely low incomes, and people experiencing sheltered and unsheltered homelessness.
These applications total $60.5 million in funding requests for the creation of 578 new housing units. Award announcements are scheduled for Sept. 2.
Funding was made available by Washington Legislature through House Bill 1080, which appropriated $71.3 million through the State Building Construction Account and $22.5 million through the Coronavirus Capital Projects Account. The awards through RCHA are contracted as recoverable grants.
Federal Way’s Red Lion at 1688 South 348th Street was converted into temporary housing in 2020 after an emergency declaration from King County Public Health. The declaration was intended to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 among high risk groups. The “de-intensification shelter” currently houses more than 200 people, most of whom were transferred from Downtown Emergency Service Center’s shelters in downtown Seattle and Queen Anne.
The former Red Lion has requested $8.9 million from the RCHA for the creation of 84 total units.