JASON RANTZ

Redmond neighbors demand transparency in homeless hotel purchase

Aug 23, 2021, 4:51 PM

redmond homeless hotel shelter...

A former Silver Cloud Hotel in Redmond purchased by King County. (Photo courtesy of King County Executive's Office)

(Photo courtesy of King County Executive's Office)

The City of Redmond, with King County, purchased a hotel that will be used to provide housing for people experiencing chronic homelessness. But residents say they weren’t warned.

That sparked concern from neighbors, including Kan Qui, the founder of a group called Safe Eastside.

“We have a big problem with the location,” Qui told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH about the hotel. “It’s right between Bellevue, the busiest traffic section of Bellevue and Redmond. And although it’s within Redmond borders, it’s affecting a lot of residential areas in Bellevue.”

“As far as the transparency of the deal, we also have a problem with that,” he said. “For government to spend taxpayer dollars to purchase a property and not notify anybody in the neighborhood, and purchase that property to convert to a different use, for homeless use, that’s a travesty to the neighborhood.”

King County buys fourth hotel to house homeless individuals

Qui says people in Seattle who have gone though a similar ordeal contacted them and “basically told us that that will be a nightmare for you.” He says he spoke with one woman from Green Lake for two hours who lives next to a homeless settlement.

“Then her neighborhood for the last couple of years was just ruined, … full of trash, needles all over the place, and then the crime rate is up, and the neighborhood people were just afraid of walking outside,” Qui said.

At this point, since the City of Redmond is responsible for the location of the hotel and the permitting for converting its use, Qui says Safe Eastside believes the mayor is the person responsible for this deal.

“In the meantime, we also have questions for King County as well,” he added. “Right now, as of this point, the mayor barely responds to our comments. Her only public [response] is she said — the day after our Tuesday protest last week — she said she was still going to move on with the project.”

“We’re demanding for transparency and public input,” Qui said.

Executive says King County will buy more hotels to house homeless population

Learn more about Safe Eastside online here.

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Redmond neighbors demand transparency in homeless hotel purchase