Snohomish County Councilmember pushes back against hotels for homeless residents

Nov 15, 2021, 8:25 AM

homeless hotels...

A hotel room at the former Clarion Inn in Auburn, Washington, which has purchased by King County to serve as a homeless shelter. (Photo courtesy of KC Executive Dow Constantine/Twitter)

(Photo courtesy of KC Executive Dow Constantine/Twitter)

If you live in Snohomish County, it’s certainly possible that you’re going to have hotels open up as homeless shelters in your neighborhood. It looks especially likely for the city of Everett.

Snohomish County Councilmember Sam Low voted against the move to basically approve a real estate firm to look for potential hotels that meet certain standards so they could be turned into a shelter. Along with fellow councilmember Nate Nehring, Low offered an amendment so that if the county decides to purchase a hotel for the use of a homeless shelter, there needs to be outreach and transparency.

Redmond neighbors demand transparency in homeless hotel purchase

“To me, this is 100% about transparency and accountability to the public,” Low told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH. “I put forward an amendment to say, hey, before the county buys a hotel in any city, including Everett — and Everett’s the city I grew up in so I know it really, really well — let the elected officials know, let the public know. That amendment failed 3 to 2.”

Everett City Council members, Low says, saw an article in the Everett Herald about the county’s plan and reached out to Low, noting that they weren’t aware the county was looking to buy a hotel in their city.

“And they’re the elected officials, which is exactly why I wanted my amendment to go forward,” Low said.

“I know they talked about a letter Wednesday night at their city council meeting,” Low added about the Everett City Council. “I know that it’s going to come up next Wednesday as that letter is formalized, and I understand the letter that they’re going to send to the county is saying, hey, where’s our voice in this? Because they are the voice for their constituents. And I think cities should have a voice in this process.”

The county’s bigger plan, Low says, is to buy hotels in every county council district.

“This is just the first step, and if they can sneak this one through then they can just do dominoes with the rest,” he said. “I think it’s important that a light is shown on this.”

Low says he doesn’t support county government purchasing hotels.

“To me, it comes down to the core of county government, which to me is public safety, elections, courts,” he said. “And now it looks like a new core of county government is going to be the hotel business, and the hotel business with zero public input. So I don’t think the county should be in the hotel business.”

Snohomish County has already partnered with local housing groups and a number of religious organizations to provide housing opportunities and options for homeless individuals, Low noted.

First Seattle homeless residents moving in to King County’s hotel

“Now we’re just throwing — seems like we’re throwing that model out the door and going to the King County, Seattle model of buying hotels,” he said. “And I do have a problem with that.”

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3 – 6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
  • listen to jason rantzTune in to AM 770 KTTH weekdays at 3-7pm toThe Jason Rantz Show.

Jason Rantz Show


seattle sucker punched...

Jason Rantz

Rantz: Man ‘sucker punched’ in downtown Seattle as crime plagues city

A man was "sucker punched" in an unprovoked attack in downtown Seattle over the Memorial Day weekend, according to police.

1 day ago

Seattle police...

Jason Rantz

Rantz: Many Seattle city council candidates won’t support police, drug laws

An alarming number of Seattle City Council candidates do not support fully staffing or funding the police department. And nearly a third of the candidates want the police to ignore drug laws.

2 days ago

Bob Ferguson Governor Google data privacy lawsuit...

Jason Rantz

Rantz: Progressives shred Bob Ferguson for Governor endorsement

The Bob Ferguson for Governor campaign is off to a rocky start, already alienating Seattle activists after bragging about a police chief's endorsement.

3 days ago

Echo Glen...

KTTH staff

Rantz: 4 remaining Echo Glen inmates have been captured

The King County Sheriff's Office (KCSO) said the four remaining inmates from the Echo Glen juvenile facility have been captured.

3 days ago

freedom series homelessness...

KTTH staff

KTTH Freedom Series: WA still suffering from crime, homelessness

Local leaders and officials joined the KTTH Freedom Series to discuss solutions to the region's crime and homelessness crisis.

5 days ago

ktth freedom series crime crisis...

KTTH staff

KTTH Freedom Series: State policies created WA crime crisis

Jason Rantz was joined by politicians and authorities to discuss how policy has affected the crime crisis during the KTTH Freedom Series.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.

Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.

SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...

Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Snohomish County Councilmember pushes back against hotels for homeless residents