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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Council Roundup: Evaluation criteria for shelter sites considered

Plus, Affordable Housing Strategy moves forward

On Monday night, the City Council provided feedback on a set of exploratory criteria to be used on three locations of interest for the proposed Eastside Men's Shelter and Supportive Housing project. The sites include Lincoln Center, which is home to the current temporary winter shelter, the Sound Transit Operations and Maintenance Facility Eastside (OMFE) in the BelRed area, and the previously studied Eastgate Public Health Center site on King County-owned land.

During the discussion, it was noted that much of the information requested by Eastgate residents will be incorporated in the final evaluation. A draft of the evaluation criteria can be found in the meeting's packet materials. The item is tentatively set to be brought back to the council for consideration on Monday, June 5.

On April 17, through a 4-3 vote, the council gave preliminary approval on siting the proposed men's shelter and supportive housing facility at the Eastgate site, at 14350 SE Eastgate Way. However, the council also agreed to a 45-day study period to explore the viability of the Lincoln Center and OMFE sites.

Establishing a permanent Eastside shelter is a 2016-17 City Council Vision Priority. The project, associated with the initially proposed Eastgate site, is in partnership with King County, Congregations for the Homeless and Imagine Housing. As proposed, the shelter would operate under a low-barrier model, meaning the facility generally would not turn anyone in need away; however strict standards for behavior and clear protocols for anyone not meeting those standards would be part of the operating model.

More details about the proposed shelter and supportive housing project are available.

Affordable Housing Strategy moves forward
In a continuation and wrap-up of last week's discussion, councilmembers provided additional feedback on the Affordable Housing Strategy. The report consists of five overarching strategies:

  • Help people stay in their affordable housing;
  • Create a variety of housing choices;
  • Create more affordable housing;
  • Unlock housing supply by making it easier to build;
  • Prioritize state, county and local funding for affordable housing.

Each strategy includes a set of actions designed to address key aspects of the issue. During the discussion, councilmembers agreed that they were comfortable with the report in its current form with the understanding there will be additional council and public review during implementation of specific actions.

Final council action on the report is expected later this month. Implementation will begin after council approval, with the bulk of the actions in place within the next two to three years. The Affordable Housing Strategy also includes a monitoring program to measure overall progress and effectiveness of individual actions.

More information on the project, including the draft report, can be found on the Affordable Housing Strategy web page.

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