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Anaheim takes first step to turn motel into supportive housing for homeless people

An Econo Lodge Motel near Anaheim’s border with Buena Park could be converted into a 70-unit complex to house homeless people.

At its Tuesday, July 16, meeting, the City Council authorized a memorandum of understanding with nonprofit developer Jamboree Housing Corp. to rehabilitate the motel at 2691 W. La Palma Ave.

This is the first project to be pursued under a new city ordinance that allows renovation of motels into affordable housing. Jamboree is expected to return to the next council meeting for a funding request that could include a $1.6 million loan to the developer.

Plans call for providing ongoing health and social services to help maintain the well-being of the residents who will occupy the subsidized housing. That kind of “permanent supportive” housing is intended for people who have been chronically homeless and have a disability.

Jamboree also will seek tax credits to help finance the project. Once the funding is in hand, the conversion is expected to take anywhere from a year to 18 months to complete, said Kelsey Brewer, communications and policy manager at Jamboree.