Former Renton hotel, purchased for nearly $30 million, to house the homeless

RENTON, Wash. — The fight against homelessness took a major step Tuesday morning when the King County Executive announced the latest plan to get people into housing.

The newest transitional facility will be in Renton with the aim to get people off the street and into shelter quickly.

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What was once an Extended Stay America hotel at 1150 Oakesdale Avenue Southwest will be converted to help the homeless.

King County’s Health Through Housing program will take over the building at a cost of nearly $30 million.

“Last week, we closed on the sale of this hotel -- this former Extended Stay hotel --and we’re now working to get the building ready for our guests,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said at a news conference..

The hotel will be ready to provide housing by the end of the summer or early fall. With 100 units, it will offer shelter and provide services to people getting off the street.

“It’s the difference between sheltering and housing,” said Renton Mayor Armando Pavone.

Officials say individual rooms provide safety and health that old style shelters cannot. With COVID-19 still a concern, it’s preferable to a large room crowded with people.

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While the hotel offers housing as opposed to a shelter, the hope is for it not to become permanent housing, but a first step toward moving people out of chronic homelessness and into a more permanent solution.

“We can keep pointing the finger toward someone else. It’s Seattle’s fault, it’s the other city’s fault, it’s King County’s fault, it’s Amazon’s fault -- or we can join hands and work together,” said Constantine.