Home Sweet Home.

The Kennewick Housing Authority is pouring $3.8 million into a 1-acre development near a downtown Kennewick grocery store to build 16 tiny houses for Tri-Citians who fall in the categories of homeless families with children, homeless veterans and homeless people with disabilities.

The development is on 13th Avenue, a block off of Washington Street and just a few blocks from the Red Apple Grocery Store in downtown Kennewick.

Ranging from 300 square feet to 600 square feet, these micro homes are a mix of studio and two-bedroom units that feature full private kitchens and bathrooms, not shared cooking and toilet facilities found in other shelters. The prefab units are being built in Rathdrum, Idaho at Stratford Homes, and delivery is expected to the Kennewick site sometime next month.

Plus, services will be available at the project's site for the continued development of the residents and to create a stronger path to independence by offering the chance to form relationships with WorkSource representatives and other agencies with the goal of securing stable employment.

Each family or person will pay 30 percent of their adjusted gross monthly income in rent. There is no mandatory move-out scale, but establishing a good rental history record will allow individuals or families to move on to bigger places, subsequently opening an opportunity for someone else.

In January 2020, the annual survey to count homeless people in each Washington county as required by law, Point in Time, found there were 190 people who were homeless in Benton and Franklin Counties, with 32 being classified as chronically homeless. The 2019 total for Benton and Franklin Counties from the state's Homeless Housing Assistance Act was 222.

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