LIHI Announces Purchase of Candlewood Suites in Lakewood to be renamed Maureen Howard Place
LAKEWOOD, WA – The Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) purchased the Candlewood Suites on Feb. 28 which is located at 10720 Pacific Hwy SW in Lakewood, WA. Originally built in 2010, this 83-suite hotel will be converted to an enhanced shelter to serve people experiencing homelessness in Pierce County. The shelter will have 77 suites for approximately 85 people including couples, singles and people with pets. Six units will be converted into case management offices, housing operations and community space.
Funding for the purchase of the Candlewood Suites came from the state Department of Commerce Right-of-Way (ROW) program initiated by Governor Inslee and funded by the state legislature. The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) will be referring homeless people camping along state right-of-ways in Lakewood, Tacoma and other parts of Pierce County.
“The building is named in honor of Maureen Howard, a fierce advocate for homeless people, who passed away in January. She did not just worry about people sleeping outside in the cold and rain but took action to mobilize more housing, shelters and services for vulnerable people in Pierce County,” said Sharon Lee, LIHI Executive Director. Click here for an article on Howard’s story and significance to the community.
“Thank you for bestowing this honor of naming this Maureen Howard Place,” said Beth Howard, daughter of Maureen Howard. “My mother was passionate that everyone deserves housing, with dignity and respect. That everyone deserves the right to get back on their feet and move forward in life. That housing is a right not a privilege. So on behalf of her husband, grandchildren, and her family we thank you for recognizing her lifelong commitment to the housing need.”
LIHI will operate the property as an enhanced shelter for homeless people. Staff will be on-site 24-hours a day. LIHI case managers will help clients obtain permanent housing, employment, health care, and other services. Each hotel suite includes a bed, living space, bathroom, and kitchen.
Maureen Howard Place is the second hotel and third property purchased by LIHI in Pierce County to help reduce homelessness. In 2021 LIHI purchased the Comfort Inn in Tacoma, which is renamed Aspen Court, and in 2022 the agency purchased Heron Apts. also in Tacoma.
Both hotel shelters and tiny house villages have been shown to be effective models of non-congregate shelters. Families and individuals have privacy, safety, a supportive environment and a sense of community. Case managers help people access housing, services, income support and employment to make a successful transition to permanent housing. LIHI has established three tiny house villages in the Tacoma area.
The purchase price of the Candlewood Suites was $20.2 million.