State Senate bill to increase housing near transit gets a hearing

The word from a supporter of a new housing bill making its way through the state Senate put it this way: “We are asking the Legislature to go big on housing.” An opponent argued that a number of the housing bills in Olympia are “extreme and draconian.” For Edmonds, Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace, this bill…

State housing bills a battleground for local control vs. density

I’ve written it before, and it is still true: Nothing sparks more reaction in South Snohomish County than the phrase “single-family zoning.” What drives that reaction is equal parts growth, change, fear, the economy and history. The Washington State Legislature is again debating a bill that could change single-family zoning and housing statewide. That fuels…

State survey: Most people say housing is top issue

Housing and homelessness topped a list of 12 issues in a new survey that asked Washington state residents to rank their top two problems facing the state. The Department of Commerce partnered with the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) to conduct the 12-county survey in late 2022. Other issues on the list included crime and…

Local lawmakers talk taxes, housing and jobs during Economic Alliance event

When was the last time you put two Republicans and two Democrats in the same room, and they all got along? Well, it happened Thursday morning in Everett, at a session of the Economic Alliance of Snohomish County. The topics – your taxes, housing development, transportation and job creation. They all got along; that doesn’t…

County says no sign of drug manufacturing inside former Hwy 99 hotel

The sign is a shock and a warning. It hangs on the fence surrounding what used to be America’s Best Value Inn at 221st and Highway 99. This fall, Snohomish County bought this property and another motel in Everett, to remodel and reopen as bridge housing — a first step to help the chronically homeless. The county…

Get Your Ducks in a Row panel discussion at Edmonds Waterfront Center Nov. 10

Senior housing and care expert Mary Cordova will lead a panel discussion at the Edmonds Waterfront Center at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10 on preparing to transition into senior housing. This discussion is relevant for seniors who want to plan ahead or adult children seeking more information on how to best support their aging parents. Speakers…

Long-time Housing Hope CEO Fred Safstrom announces retirement

Fred Safstrom has announced his retirement as CEO of Housing Hope, which owns and operates 541 affordable housing units at 23 locations throughout Snohomish County. Two more projects for families are planned for South Snohomish County — one next to Edmonds Lutheran Church in Edmonds and the other next to Cedar Valley Community School in…

A focus on housing instead of homelessness: Panelists weigh in during Tuesday coffee chat

We think we have heard all the arguments about housing and homelessness: “Poverty, drugs, mental illness, job loss, divorce cause homelessness” “Left-leaning politicians and permissive policies bring in more homeless.” “We don’t want multi-family housing in our community” But what we have heard about housing and homelessness may not be “all the arguments.” – Detroit…

Supersized houses: Bigger Edmonds homes reflect a national trend

Bigger is better; that’s been an American mantra for a century. Atlantic Magazine writer Joe Pinsker nailed it:   “America is a place defined by bigness. It is infamous, both within its borders and abroad, for the size of its cars, its portions, its defense budget—and its houses.”              …

Somers releases proposal for spending county’s remaining $85 million in ARPA funds

Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers Thursdayreleased his proposal for the county’s remaining $85 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, which are federal dollars designed to address the public health, social, and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a county news release, the proposal reflects community pandemic recovery priorities identified during a four-month…

Hazel Miller Foundation awards $750K grant to Housing Hope’s Edmonds project

Housing Hope has received a $750,000 grant from the Hazel Miller Foundation to go toward construction of affordable family apartments in Edmonds Highway 99 neighborhood. This plan is to build 52 apartments for low-income families on land adjacent to Edmonds Lutheran Church on 236th Street Southwest and across from the Edmonds Safeway store. The multifamily development will…

Local woman organizes Sept. 18 concert to benefit those in need of a helping hand

There was a fire — an arson that burned her rented house down– and just like that, Kristina Morris and her son found themselves homeless. “It’s often thought that a homeless person is unemployed, but in truth, many, like me, are employed,” said Morris. “But once a person becomes homeless, it’s not as easy to…

Following county’s purchase of hotels for temporary housing, what comes next?

When you answer one question, others always follow. That’s what happened when we reported that Snohomish County is buying two hotels to help bring stable housing to peope who are homeless. One of the properties the Snohomish County Council agreed to buy is in Edmonds — the America’s Best Value Inn, on Highway 99. The…

Housing Hope employment and education program receives $130K grant from Boeing

The Boeing Company has awarded a $130,000 grant to Housing Hope’s Education, Employment and Training Program. The Housing Hope program provides employment and education services to people experiencing homelessness, poverty and other adversities in Snohomish County. According to a news release announcing the grant, the program positions people to earn a GED, high school diploma, degree…

County council approves purchase of hotels for bridge housing

The Snohomish County Council voted to approve County Executive Dave Somers’s proposal to convert two hotels into bridge housing with support services. Combined, the Days Inn in Everett and the America’s Best Value Inn in Edmonds will create 129 new units of time-limited housing for residents without shelter. The county is using its American Rescue…

County plans to purchase Edmonds Hwy 99 hotel for ‘bridge housing’ plus services

A major change to help those experiencing homelessness is coming to Edmonds, Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace. Snohomish County plans to buy the America’s Best Value Inn on Highway 99 in Edmonds, which will provide 55 units of what’s called “bridge housing.” Assuming approval by the Snohomish County Council, the purchase will mark the first time this…

The human side of the housing debate: Part 4 — Edmonds at a crossroads

The one issue that generates the most intense discussion in Edmonds is housing. Residents and city officials have debated for years the issues related to how and where people should live — from housing density to homelessness to affordable housing —  and how much the city should help those who struggle to afford to live…