Seattle's pilot program may house homeless on your property temporarily

Seattle's pilot program may house homeless on your property temporarily (Photo: KOMO)

SEATTLE -- If you are willing to house the homeless on your property, the City of Seattle may be willing to grant you some money to do so.

Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien is asking fellow council members to approve $300,000 to create a temporary housing pilot program that would provide grant money for community based organizations to build temporary housing.

On Friday, he showed an example of the type of housing he’s thinking about, a 200 square foot tiny home on wheels.

“You’ve got a confection stove, a microwave, a washer dryer unit in one,” O’Brien said as he walked through a unit called the Aspire. “There’s a 3-by-3 foot shower, dual toilet -- it’s made of sustainable products, it's tight but livable”.

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The Aspire is the inspiration of Rachel Stamm of Kent, who along with her partner, created a company called Close to Home. The Aspire is designed to be an all-in-one DIY kit that can be built by a couple of people in less than a week.

“We wanted to help more people build a home more quickly and that's what the kit will do,” Stamm said.

O’Brien says the Aspire is just the kind of idea O’Brien says could receive city funding with a caveat -- the City would qualify each candidate to live in the home.

“These are the types of things we need to be more flexible if we want to solve our housing crisis,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien admits his plans is still being developed, but it could provide awards up to $25,000 per grant and would require 50 percent matching funds. The homes need to meet city building coats and be placed in locations that would allow for them. Right now, homes zoned as single family residences would not have them.

“The city of Portland allows these in people's back yards, we don't,” said O’Brien. “Let’s try this out in a pilot. If we get a few of them up and running and we think it’s a good solution then maybe we can expand it to single family zones.”

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