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Controversial tiny house village for Seattle homeless to close

Seattle won't renew the permit for the Licton Springs tiny house village in North Seattle, which has faced complaints from neighbors since it opened in 2017.

The permit for a North Seattle tiny house homeless village will not be renewed when it expires next year, the city of Seattle announced Wednesday.

The Licton Springs Village, which is located at North 87th Street and Aurora Avenue North, opened in 2017. It’s a low-barrier village, meaning it allows pets, drugs, and alcohol. The village’s two-year permit expires in March 2019.

The city says Licton Springs Village was started to help the city’s most vulnerable homeless population – 77 percent of its residents are chronically homeless, and most residents have a disability, chronic health condition, mental health condition, or substance abuse issue, according to the Homeless Management Information System.

RELATED: Inside Seattle's 'low barrier' tiny house village

It was designed to serve residents for a short period of time and help them transition to housing. However, nearly three-quarters of residents have lived at the tiny house village for over a year, according to the city.

“The City has learned that it takes much longer to serve such vulnerable residents,” a city spokesperson wrote in a Homelessness Response blog post.

The city says it will add case management resources to help the village’s 53 residents be placed in supportive housing or safe shelter and ensure they do not become homeless again when the Licton Springs Village closes.

The tiny house village has also been plagued with complaints from neighbors, who blame an uptick in crime and 911 calls on the village, saying they have seen the camp attack suspicious activity.

In July, the city said it would make security improvements to the village, including moving and narrowing the entry gate, improving hypodermic needle containment and disposal, and increasing clean-ups.

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