King County plans to buy hotels to permanently house homeless

SEATTLE — King County plans to buy as many as a dozen hotels to permanently house hundreds of homeless people and provide them with services.

The initiative is called Health Through Housing. It uses revenue from a .1% sales tax increase to develop a network of apartment-like shelters, with the goal of getting people out of tents, off of sidewalks, and into safe, clean homes.

The county hopes to eventually house 45%, or 2,000 people, out of its chronically homeless population of 4,500, by October 2022.

The goal for 2021 is to create housing units for 1,500 people countywide, in former hotels and nursing homes.