King County Expands Housing Health Initiative with Purchase of Third Hotel
King County finalized the purchase of its third Health through Housing property, the former Holiday Inn Express & Suites North Seattle, adding an additional 99 units of supportive housing for the homeless chronic. King County Director Dow Constantine joined King County Council member Jeanne Kohl-Welles and other guests at a press conference on Thursday. to announce the purchase of the hotel for $ 17.5 million.
“We are pleased to be able to partner with the City of Seattle for the county’s third hotel purchase to help our most vulnerable residents regain health and stability,” Constantine said. “Health through housing is a powerful tool in changing people’s lives, helping them get off the streets and find a safe and secure place where they can feel at home. “
The hotel, located at 14115 Aurora Avenue North in North Seattle, was built in 2001 and contains 99 units and spans approximately 1.91 acres. The site includes a building and parking areas for residents. The hotel will provide housing for chronically or long-term homeless people, as well as 24/7 on-site staff that will include case management and access to physical and behavioral health services. A competitive process will determine the on-site service provider before the facility is operational later this year
“As a result of COVID-19, our humanitarian homeless crisis has been exacerbated, leaving many homeless in our parks and playgrounds, sidewalks and downtown. As we continue our urgent recovery efforts, Seattle and King County continue to show that by working together we can begin to solve our most difficult problems, ”said Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan. “Today’s investment is another important step in this direction. Executive Constantine has been a true partner in working together to ensure homeless people have accommodation options located throughout the King County area. Over the next few months, together, we will move hundreds of people to safe shelter alternatives and, more importantly, to a permanent housing solution. “
“The coronavirus pandemic and the recent record heat have revealed the critical link between health and housing,” said Representative Cindy Ryu. “The partnership between the state, King County, municipal governments and local residents to urgently provide permanent supportive housing through the purchase of properties like the former Holiday Inn Express on Aurora Avenue is the one of the most interesting advances in our efforts to reduce homelessness. This property is perfectly suited to provide housing stability and enveloping services for health and well-being.
As with all purchases made under the Health through Housing initiative, King County worked closely with local leaders, coordinating with the City of Seattle. King County has already purchased two hotels under the Health through Housing initiative, a former extended stay hotel in Renton with 110 units and the Inn at Queen Anne with 80 units.
Health Through Housing is an initiative introduced by Executive Constantine in his 2020 Budget Speech that devotes one-tenth of a percent of sales tax revenue to the purchase of hotels, motels and other single rooms for use as emergency and permanent housing with supportive services for people with chronic illnesses. and long-term homelessness in King County. The King County Council approved the initiative and the implementation of the funding. The sales tax was made possible by the Washington state legislature by creating a dedicated source of funds to help deal with the homelessness crisis.
“The purchase of this North Seattle hotel, the second housing-funded health hotel in District Four, will provide the kind of one-on-one support and on-site staff that can be transformational in helping individuals move out of the city. roaming, ”said Kohl-Welles. “Located close to public transportation and with individual rooms, the hotel is ideally located to have a significant impact on the homelessness crisis in our region.”