Recently, Seattle and King counties in Washington have decided to move forward with a twelve million dollar proposal to provide housing for 200 residents. The plan for doing so involves building modular, prefabricated homes specifically designed for the homeless population.
Solution Needed For Seattle Homelessness
Seattle’s homelessness problem has reached “crisis levels” in recent years, with an estimated 12,000 people without secure housing within the Seattle area on any given night. This is not necessarily a recent development; this problem was first declared a crisis in 2015.
King and Seattle counties have proposed this twelve million dollar plan to construct modular housing for the vast homeless population in response to this crisis continuing. Modular construction was chosen largely for speed and environmental impact, as modular constructions reduce energy costs later on for occupants. The structures will be designed to accommodate approximately 200 people. While this is a significant improvement, it remains a drop in the bucket compared to the overall homeless population.
Despite the altruistic and charitable nature of this project, it is not without its challenges. The current planned location for the series of construction projects is zoned as commercial property, meaning that these residential structures would be going against city ordinance. While Seattle has long been a city welcoming of modular construction, a project of this scale is also likely to face opposition on the grounds of the structures being prefabricated.
Not The First Of Its Kind
Seattle is the latest in a series of cities and urban areas using prefabricated and modular structures to address issues of homelessness. Seattle joins a list of several locations across the country to implement this possible solution, along with San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin, Charlotte, and even Oahu in Hawaii. Several residents in these locations have protested such construction projects, but ultimately plans have moved forward in almost all of these situations.
Will Seattle’s homelessness population benefit from this new construction project, or will this fail to create the impact needed to truly start reducing the rate of homelessness in Seattle? Either way, this project is sure to help shape future means of addressing homelessness in urban areas nationwide.