EVERETT - The City of Everett announced this week that they have identified a potential property that could be the home of a future low-barrier supportive housing facility, pending further site analysis and environmental review.
The 1.4-acre potential site is located on the east side of Evergreen Way at Pecks Drive close to transit and services, including grocery stores and health care providers. The property is part of a larger parcel, currently owned by City of Everett Utilities, that also houses Reservoir 3 and Everett Fire’s training facility.
“We are excited to identify a property that offers easy access to transportation and other service providers, and is a good fit for the facility we hope to build,” said David Hall, deputy city attorney. “We know there will be a lot of interest in the project, and we are planning community meetings over the next couple of months to answer questions and share our plans.”
The next step is evaluating the site and partnering with a developer to design, build and operate the facility, which will house 60-70 chronically homeless individuals. The City Council will consider a request for qualifications from interested developers at the May 11 council meeting.
The City hopes to break ground on a new facility by early summer 2017. The project is expected to cost about $14 million for design and construction.
Low-barrier housing and the Housing First model
Low-barrier housing is permanent supportive housing for homeless men and women with substance use disorders and/or mental illness. The facility being developed for the City will have controlled access and on-site case management and supportive services.
“Our goal is to provide housing for chronically homeless individuals who are some of the highest utilizers of City and community resources,” said Hall. “The priority is getting people into stable housing and then providing active case management and the opportunity to connect with treatment providers and support services.”
Throughout the country, Housing First has been found to be the most effective approach to ending chronic homelessness, because it offers individuals and families immediate access to permanent affordable or supportive housing. This housing model has been repeatedly found to yield higher housing retention rates, lower returns to homelessness, and significant reductions in the use of crisis services and institutions.
For more information, visit www.everettwa.gov/housingfirst.