Snohomish County buying up hotels as transitional housing for people facing homelessness

Snohomish County is buying hotels to convert to transitional housing for people experiencing homelessness.

County Executive Dave Somers announced Monday that the county bought its second hotel, using funds from the American Rescue Plan Act. The goal, according to the county, is to provide "time-limited bridge housing with wraparound services."

The hotel will serve as transitional housing for homeless people in Snohomish County.

On Monday, the county finalized its purchase of America's Best Value Inn in Edmonds, which will provide 55 housing units. Just a week prior on Aug. 8, the county also bought the Days Inn hotel in Everett and gained 74 units, plus another 36 units through the Shelter & Behavioral Health Partnership Program on Aug. 4.

Altogether, the projects net 165 units—a 26% increase in Snohomish County's transitional housing capacity.

"With these one-time federal funds, we have an opportunity to make transformational investments in our housing system. By increasing our bridge housing capacity, we can provide safer places for vulnerable residents, create stability to support communities’ overall health and wellbeing, and make Snohomish County an even better place to live, work, and play – for everyone," said Somers. "South County residents and service providers have been clear that we need to increase local housing and mental health care options, and we intend to continue expanding units and services for vulnerable communities across the county."

The ‘wraparound services’ the county cites includes food, hygiene, employment services, legal services, mental health and substance abuse services. There will be 24/7 on-site staffing and services at each location, the county says.

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County and local officials say some people have already been staying at the hotel with housing vouchers from homelessness programs.

The Snohomish County Council will consider the purchases on Wednesday.