Health Through Housing is an initiative to rapidly acquire up to 1,600 units of affordable housing for residents experiencing, or at risk of, chronic homelessness while reducing racial-ethnic disproportionality. We’ve acquired nearly 1,000 units for at-risk and chronically homeless residents—housing that is dignified, connected, and service-enriched.
The initiative reached a new milestone last month when King County purchased the tenth building in Kirkland. These 10 buildings cover a wide geographic area, including three buildings in South King County, two buildings on the Eastside, and five buildings in Seattle. Health Through Housing partnerships in Auburn, Federal Way, Kirkland, Redmond, and Renton will bring a mix of permanent supportive housing and emergency supportive housing to the region.
Right now, eight buildings are in various stages of preparation for operations. Currently two buildings in Seattle are already operational, and two more in Renton and north Seattle will be opening their doors to residents in the next few months. In Renton, residents are expected to move in at the former Extended Stay of America by the end of April. Catholic Community Services will operate the building. In June, the former Extended Stay of America in Northgate will welcome its first guests, and DESC is the operator of that building and is currently hiring staff.
Another Former Extended Stay America located in Federal Way is currently providing housing for 100 refugees from Afghanistan. Once efforts to rehouse Afghan evacuees are complete this spring, the County will transition the building and complete the procurement process to identify an operator. A procurement process is also being planned in Redmond for the former Silver Cloud Inn.
For Federal Way and Auburn, we expect the formal request for bid by mid-April and anticipate both buildings will open this year.
We are proud to announce that Chief Seattle Club will be the official operator of the building formerly named Canton Lofts in Pioneer Square. This is a significant partnership and reinforces both the priorities of Chief Seattle Club, which is focused on the needs of American Indian and Alaska Native people, and the goals of this initiative—to serve those most disproportionately impacted by homelessness. American Indian and Alaska Native people experience unsheltered homelessness at a higher rate than any other demographic in our region.
The contract with Chief Seattle Club includes operation of the building, including case management supports, and connections to physical and behavioral health supports. The 80-unit building will open early fall.
In Kirkland, the County and City of Kirkland are currently working to plan virtual community briefings open to the public beginning in May to answer questions and talk more about the operator selection and building modifications. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about these events.
We appreciate the shared commitment by cities, neighbors and the community to partner with us and welcome these new housing opportunities for people experiencing chronic homelessness. We can make a difference and turn the tide on this regional crisis if we take unified action in each city across the county.