King County considers La Quinta Inn in Kirkland as housing for the homeless

The city manager shared details about the partnership between Kirkland and the county regarding the as-yet-unfinished project.

KIRKLAND, Wash. — King County is considering buying the La Quinta Inn in Kirkland as the next property in its Health Through Housing initiative, a move the city signaled support for Tuesday night in a Facebook post.

The Health Through Housing program was announced in 2020 and is a strategy developed by the Dow Constantine Executive Office to quickly acquire permanent, supportive housing for homeless people across the county.

The program allocates funds for the purchase of hotels and apartment buildings to provide stable housing for the homeless as well as complementary services.

In a statement on Wednesday, Constantine explained that the hotel purchase has not been finalized as the county continues to assess the suitability of the property.

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“I look forward to working closely with the City of Kirkland – to welcoming partners who have expressed strong support and partnership in building a regional solution to this regional challenge,” Constantine said in a statement.

As Kirkland City Manager Kirk Triplett explained in Tuesday’s article, “This site would provide a permanent home, including privacy stability, the same bed to sleep in each night, and its own bathroom. . Tenants will also have links to health and behavioral health treatment and services, 24/7 on-site staff, and a case manager to help navigate community systems. Studies show that these elements create a strong foundation to start rebuilding lives. It wouldn’t be a homeless shelter.

However, some residents responded to the post, which answered “numerous” questions about the potential project, with concern. One reviewer pointed out that the La Quinta Inn, located on Northup Way near Lake Washington Boulevard NE, is less than a block from two schools. Another commentator mentioned increased police activity.

Although the project is not finalized, Triplett said the city and county are beginning a community engagement process on the project, adding, “Kirkland staff and council members are already reaching out to key stakeholders near La Quinta and throughout the community.”

The Health Through Housing program already has eight properties, with the goal of creating up to 1,600 emergency and permanent supportive housing units by the end of this year.

It is funded by a tenth of every penny of sales tax revenue and has been approved by the county council.

Kirkland has dedicated a page on its website to answer questions from residents about the potential La Quinta Inn project.

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