KTTH

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

KTTH

Image: Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., joins fellow Democratic members of the House of Representativ...

Jason Rantz

Rantz: Seattle Democrat Pramila Jayapal laughs about young girl’s rape coverage

Rep. Pramila Jayapal thinks coverage of the rape of a 13-year-old is funny. Why? It's her way of dismissing politically inconvenient stories.

17 hours ago

Image: Seattle Police Department officers arrest a woman caught driving a stolen car full of stolen...

Jason Rantz

Rantz: Seattle Police staffing lowest since 1958 as 38 cops leave so far

Seattle Police staffing has hit a terrifying low, with fewer officers in 2024 than in 1958. The population and crime have soared since then.

2 days ago

Photos: Gubernatorial candidate Semi Bird denied wearing a Special Operations Combat Diver Badge, t...

Jason Rantz

Rantz Exclusive: Video shows Semi Bird wearing military badge he didn’t earn

Gubernatorial candidate Semi Bird denied wearing a Special Operations Combat Diver Badge, that he didn't earn. Video shows he did.

3 days ago

...

MyNorthwest Video

Video: Adrian Diaz Shares his secret. EXCLUSIVELY with Jason Rantz

Former Seattle Police chief Adrian Diaz. Find out what else he has to say in his only interview. Listen to The Jason Rantz Show weekdays from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. on AM 770 KTTH or on-demand wherever you listen to podcasts.

4 days ago

Adrian Diaz gay...

Jason Rantz

Rantz Exclusive: Former Seattle police Chief Adrian Diaz announces he’s gay

Former Seattle police Chief Adrian Diaz was accused of "predatory behavior" towards female staff. There's an issue with the claim: He's gay.

4 days ago

(Photo courtesy of SPD via LinkedIn)...

Jason Rantz

Rantz: Seattle Police Department recruiting DACA recipients to be cops

The Seattle Police Department (SPD) is actively looking to recruit DACA recipients to be cops. Is this constitutional? Is it a good idea?

5 days ago

Snohomish County Councilmember pushes back against hotels for homeless residents