ANAHEIM, Calif. (Aug. 23, 2021) — Anaheim and partner Jamboree Housing celebrated the grand opening Monday of Buena Esperanza, a groundbreaking affordable housing project providing 69 beautiful apartments for formerly homeless residents, veterans and those with mental health struggles.
Buena Esperanza transformed an outdated Econo Lodge motel that had outlived its usefulness on La Palma Avenue in west Anaheim into much-needed permanent supportive housing that benefits both those who need a place to live and the surrounding community.
The first of its kind in Anaheim and Orange County, Buena Esperanza was made possible thanks to Anaheim's innovative Motel Conversion Program, approved by the City Council in 2019, which paves the way to convert outdated and underutilized motels into affordable housing.
“With Buena Esperanza, we’ve replaced an outdated motel with housing that will change lives," Mayor Harry Sidhu said. "Anaheim and our partners are leading the way in addressing homelessness with groundbreaking responses to California’s housing crisis. Our Motel Conversion Program, the first of its kind in Orange County, is bringing new permanent, supportive housing to Anaheim and helping those living in homelessness get on a pathway toward a better life.”
The completely renovated, Spanish-style building includes 69 fully furnished studio apartments with kitchenettes, as well as common areas, onsite laundry, barbecues and a community kitchen, as well as office space for social workers and other supportive services. Many residents have already moved in, including a full-time onsite property manager, with room preference given to Anaheim residents experiencing homelessness.
Buena Esperanza is a model for similar projects at the county and state level, as well as future motel conversions in Anaheim.
“I am proud to see this project come to life. Thanks to the hard work, vision and collaboration between city departments and our partners, we’ve turned what was a blighted motel into a beautiful place where lives can be restored," said Tim Houchen, chairman of the Anaheim Housing and Community Development Commission. "It’s a great, quality space for those who are homeless to get the housing, case management and support they need. I would love to see more projects like this on an even larger scale.”
The project was made possible with federal and state housing dollars and a city loan through the Anaheim Housing Authority and the county of Orange, as well as private funding and partnerships, including with the Disneyland Resort and Providence Southern California.