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Thursday, June 1, 2023

Buena Park motel renovated into 57 affordable apartments – Orange County Register

A motel that had worn out its welcome in Buena Park has been turned into a celebrated project offering 57 units of affordable housing to people, many who had most recently been without homes.

The $23.3 million project by the Jamboree Housing Corporation is its first “supportive” housing project in Buena Park and its third development in the north Orange County town.

The supportive part comes in the form of services that will be available to residents on-site to help them be successful in staying in housing and not becoming homeless again, such as life skills training, mental health counseling and more.

“Orange County is in a housing crisis for all levels of affordability, but especially for low-income and very-low-income levels,” Councilmember Susan Sonne said. “This project will bring on units at these affordability levels that are desperately needed in our community.”

Named Ascent, the new apartment building will serve households earning no more than 50% of the area median income; 28 of the units are earmarked for residents living with a mental health diagnosis, officials said, and they will be offered onsite services by the Orange County Healthcare Agency’s Adult and Older Adult Behavioral Health Division.

A new 2,744-square-foot community center for the residents was built next to the former motel.

“You saw value in a building that was dilapidated, broke down, on its last legs, and you saw value in it and repurposed it and you made it a home for people like me to get off the streets, and for that I am forever grateful,” Mark Henderson, a new resident of Ascent, told community and housing leaders gathered for a recent celebration of the project’s completion. “You all put your beautiful hearts and hands and minds together to make this project work.”

The formerly run-down, two-story motel was renovated into studio apartments with new windows and flooring and fully furnished kitchenettes, officials said.

“This is really an important piece of what we do,” Laura Archuleta, president and CEO of Jamboree, said about the “high-quality affordable housing” the agency strives to build. “It is important for our residents to move in and feel proud of where they live.”

The county contributed $8.2 million in Section 8 vouchers and $4.4 million in Special Needs Housing Program funds toward the project which also benefits from a $1.2 million loan from the Orange County Housing Finance Trust and $6.5 million in tax credit equity from the National Equity Fund.

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