King County buys hotel in Kirkland for ‘health through housing’


KIRKLAND, WA – King County has finalized an agreement to purchase a Kirkland hotel that will be repurposed for the Health Through Housing program, which aims to house hundreds of long-term homeless people by the end of the year. The former La Quinta Inn & Suites in Kirkland, located at 10530 Northup Way, is the tenth hotel purchased for the program, following others in Seattle, Redmond, Renton, Auburn and Federal Way.

“I am grateful for our partnership with the City of Kirkland, Mayor Penny Sweet and local leaders who recognize the need for a county-wide approach to some of the pressing issues facing us as a region,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said in a statement. statement Thursday. “By expanding our network and partnering with communities, we’re building a regional solution to chronic homelessness and opening doors to housing for hundreds of people in King County.”

The Kirkland Hotel is near Interstate 405 and close to public transportation hubs. With 121 rooms and ample meeting space, officials said the Kirkland and Redmond hotels will together provide 265 units to serve the Eastside.

Previous cover: King County Eyes Kirkland Hotel for supportive housing

The Health Through Housing program differs from traditional shelters in several ways, providing each resident with a private, stable place to call home and on-site services to connect people with the help they need. to escape homelessness. Kirkland civic leaders have been supportive of the plan throughout the process.

“Kirkland strongly believes in the vision of the Health Through Housing initiative as it aligns with Kirkland’s values ​​of providing support and services to people experiencing homelessness in our city and region,” said Sweet. Thursday. “The conversion of this hotel into permanent supportive housing continues Kirkland’s commitment to being a safe, inclusive and welcoming community where everyone belongs and will save lives. We look forward to continued collaboration with the county, the Executive Constantine and the community for ensuring this site is a safe and successful part of the solution that responds to the growing humanitarian crisis of homelessness in our region.”

Kirkland City Council on Tuesday approved a formal resolution outlining terms the county would need to meet to retain full city support, including ensuring:

  • Opportunity for the city to review and approve the county’s selection process and criteria for the facility operator.
  • City approval of the terms and conditions of the facility operator agreement, such as resident selection criteria, operating standards, compliance with laws and standards of care.
  • A safety and security plan must be developed in consultation with and approved by the Kirkland Police Department.
  • A community relations plan should be developed to address potential impacts to nearby schools, businesses and/or residences, including a proposed resolution and mitigation approach.
  • Contributed to the development of a tenant code of conduct in consultation with the facility operator, service providers and those with lived experience of homelessness.

The resolution also mandates a community engagement process, including town hall meetings, where neighbors can provide feedback and ask questions.

King County’s goal is to have up to 1,600 supportive housing units available under the program by the end of the year, and the Kirkland Hotel is expected to see its first residents in 2023. Several community meetings are underway, starting in the spring.


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