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Ex-hospital to house Tribe elders

The Snoqualmie Tribe is turning the former Nelems Memorial Hospital into housing for elders.

The 12,000-square-foot building, which dates from 1948 and was a precursor to the Snoqualmie Valley Hospital, will open next year as a four-unit apartment building with preference given to tribal elders.

The extensive remodel will add a second story. The project has yet to get an official name. Recent activity included removal of hazardous materials from the site.

Tribal Administrator Matt Mattson said affordable housing needs are a big issue for the tribe.

“Because it was not recognized for so long, tribal members did not live next to each other,” Mattson said. “A lot live in substandard housing.”

The tribe signed the Point Elliott Treaty of 1855 but was not federally recognized until 1999. Years without official tribal status left Snoqualmies scattered, with members living in Snoqualmie, North Bend, Carnation and elsewhere.

The project is being built using funds from the federal Housing and Urban Development administration (HUD) and Indian Health Services.

Last year, the tribe purchased nearby Snoqualmie Valley Hospital as a regional tribal health center.

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