King County’s Hotel Strategy Curbs COVID-19 and Spurs National Housing Initiatives
A recent University of Washington study found that King County’s initiative to repurpose hotel rooms for the homeless during the pandemic not only curtailed the spread of COVID-19 but also improved residents’ overall well-being. The program, which started in April, provided over 800 people temporary shelter. Those accommodated in hotel rooms faced fewer COVID-19 outbreaks compared to those in traditional shelters. They also reported enhanced mental and physical health, alongside an increased ability to pursue long-term aspirations. King County, including Seattle, is evaluating the program’s continuation and expansion. Meanwhile, a partnership, including the Low Income Investment Fund and the National Affordable Housing Trust, is working to invest $1 billion over five years to address affordable housing shortages.