Everett school board working with nonprofit to build housing for homeless students

EVERETT, Wash. -- A school district in Snohomish County is taking unprecedented steps to tackle the problem of students struggling to find homes, but not everyone is happy about it.

Late last week, the Everett school board approved a 75-year lease on three acres to the nonprofit group Housing Hope.

The group plans to build 35 low-income housing units next to Sequoia High School to house homeless students and their families.

Like many districts, Everett has seen their homeless student population jump - nearly doubling to 1,200 students in the past 10 years.

Advocates say a stable home is one of the most important things for a child to succeed in the classroom.

“A child simply is tremendously burdened to succeed in school without the stability of a place to call home,” said Fred Safstrom, CEO of Housing Hope.

Some neighbors around the school raised concern, saying a big apartment unit might take away from the neighborhood feel.

Housing Hope says they'll work with neighbors and designers to make sure it fits. The building is expected to be completed in 2022.