Jamboree Housing Corporation, a local nonprofit developer, in partnership with the City of Anaheim, will transform a former Econo Lodge Motel into 69 studio units of affordable housing for veterans, individuals living with a mental illness, and the formerly homeless. Construction is underway, with Buena Esperanza slated for completion in fall 2021.
What’s the latest?
The City of Anaheim is doing its part to address homelessness and provide creative housing solutions with a new ordinance that facilitates the conversion of existing motels and other commercial and office structures to more Permanent Supportive Housing for veterans, the homeless, and those chronically homeless with a mental health diagnosis. The first of such conversions is Jamboree's Buena Esperanza.
We applaud our city partners in Anaheim for doing their part in the County of Orange's plan and commitment to fund construction of 2,700 supportive housing units over the next three to five years -- ending chronic homelessness in OC. The city has been recognized by the Orange County Business Council for its leadership in these efforts with a 2019 Turning Red Tape Into Red Carpet Award for real estate reuse and revitalization.
Jamboree has received all entitlements from the city and our newest supportive housing community is now making its way to the construction phase of development. A crucial step in this process was securing a bridge loan, which allowed Jamboree to close escrow and move forward on the project.
Also, private-sector funding is vital to getting these kinds of developments built. Thanks to leadership and “last-mile” funding from the Orange County Housing Trust, Jamboree closed on construction financing in April 2020.
What's the story behind the property name?
This historical property was once a small portion of Rancho Los Coyotes, 48,806 acres of Mexican land originally granted to Juan Jose Nieto in 1834. Nieto sold the rancho in 1840 to Juan Bautista Leandry, who renamed it La Buena Esperanza, translated The Good Hope.
Over the years, the property was used for ranching and growing crops, including Valencia orange groves. In 1979, the property became the La Palma Inn, and then changed to the Econo Lodge in 1999. Our hope is that the heritage of this property will bring much good hope to its future residents.
What does community outreach look like?
The first two meetings were on Tuesday, July 9, 2019 at 6pm and Thursday, September 19, 2019 at 5:30pm. Another will be held before lease-up begins in Spring 2020.
What was on the agenda at the first and second meetings?
- Who is Jamboree?
- What’s involved in the proposed renovation of the property (design, elevations, amenities)?
- What other changes are being made to the property?
- What kinds of onsite services will be provided?
- Other questions from the community.
What was discussed at the first and second meetings?
Jamboree Permanent Supportive Housing, also referred to as Supportive Housing, combines affordable housing with best-practice services for individuals and families with disabilities and a lengthy history of homelessness. At the proposed community, this model will serve a variety of residents based on different funding sources. For example, potential residents can be referred from and funded by the County of Orange, Anaheim Housing Authority, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
In addition, there will be a live/work preference for Anaheim residents and workers for units funded by the Anaheim Housing Authority. All residents who qualify are chronically homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
Mental Health Service Act (MHSA) unit qualifications
Individuals with a clinical diagnosis of mental illness from a healthcare provider – and who are coming from homelessness – qualify for Mental Health Service Act (MHSA) units. Examples of the types of mental health diagnoses include depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder.
Property value impact
Jamboree has no evidence that this type of housing negatively impacts property values.
Homelessness, the process to become a resident, and conditions of residency
Unlike temporary shelters, Jamboree’s Permanent Supportive Housing – including this new community – operates as a permanent supportive apartment community, where individuals must qualify for this specific housing and are referred to the property from participating agencies. There will be no onsite intake center for those experiencing homelessness.
Like residents at other Jamboree Permanent Supportive Housing communities, residents at this property will sign a one-year lease that outlines house rules – including parameters about how long guests can stay with residents – as part of their lease agreement. Residents will be evicted if they don’t follow these rules. The eviction rate at Jamboree’s other six Anaheim apartment communities is .56%, which is lower than the national average of 2.34%.
Crime and security
There is no evidence that crime in the neighborhood or calls to law enforcement increase. In fact, affordable housing helps maintain a stable population. Jamboree developments have onsite staff that watch for the safety of the neighborhood as well as our own residents.
Our staff is well trained to work with local law enforcement to report any unsafe activity and to ensure that our residents and members of the surrounding neighborhood are acting responsibly. Standard security measures at this property will include security cameras and a gated pedestrian/vehicle entry into the property.
Onsite parking requirements are based on state parking codes for these types of communities. At other similar Single Room Occupancy (SRO) communities that Jamboree has developed, only 9% of residents own a vehicle. Based on this, the parking needs at Buena Esperanza will be exceeded.