ANAHEIM, Calif. (Nov. 2, 2023) — With $7.5 million in state and county funding, Anaheim is converting a former problem motel into housing for young adults who are too often overlooked for affordable housing and supportive services.
The former Tampico Motel at State College Boulevard and Lincoln Avenue is set to be converted to affordable housing for young people who’ve been through the foster care system, homeless or at risk of being unhoused.
Construction to convert the 32-room former motel is set to start in 2024 with studio apartments opening in late 2025.
“Today, we are breaking walls,” Mayor Ashleigh Aitken said. “We are breaking down the walls of a former motel to build a community of hope and support. Once again, we are showing how Anaheim leads the way on affordable housing for everyone in our community.”
Anaheim celebrated $7.5 million in funding for the conversion of the Tampico Motel in a ceremony on Thursday.
Mayor Aitken and Council Member Steve Faessel were joined by state Sen. Tom Umberg, state Assemblymember Avelino Valencia, Orange County Supervisor Vicente Sarmiento and Yunkyung Kim, chief operating officer of CalOptima, Orange County’s public healthcare agency.
Sen. Umberg provided $5.5 million in state funding for the Tampico conversion with CalOptima providing $2 million for the project.
Anaheim acquired the Tampico Motel for $5.3 million in April.
The Tampico opened in 1960 in the mid-century modern style of motels of that time with neon signs and a pool.
But, like many motels from the 1960s, the Tampico outlived its viability as lodging for visitors to Anaheim.
The years leading up to the city’s acquisition of the motel saw problems for nearby neighborhoods and businesses with drugs, crime and other issues stemming from the Tampico.
The city’s closure of the motel ended those issues with fencing and 24-hour security.
What few long-term residents there were at the Tampico were relocated to better housing.
“There was a time, not too long ago, when there wasn’t much to celebrate on this corner,” said Council Member Faessel, whose District 5 includes the Tampico site. “For years, this motel was a problem for neighborhood families just on the other side and the businesses all around. But in the years ahead, a community of stable residents and professional management will make this site a great neighbor.”
As with other Anaheim affordable housing communities, conversion of the motel will improve and the area.
The converted Tampcio will join Anaheim’s 38 communities made up of entirely affordable homes and five others that mix affordable homes alongside those at market rents.
Affordable housing communities in Anaheim serve working families, seniors, those with special needs and residents recovering from homelessness.
The Tampico conversion will be the city’s first focused on young adults, who often fall through the cracks of affordable housing and supportive services.
Many have lived with foster families and then find themselves on their own after turning 18, with all the challenges and risks that come with that.
Rooms at the Tampico will be converted to studio apartments with onsite support including case managers and access to employment, healthcare and other services.
This will be Anaheim’s third motel conversion, along with Buena Esperanza, a west Anaheim apartment community for those recovering from homelessness that opened in 2021, and North Harbor Anaheim, which opened in 2022 as interim emergency housing for the formerly homeless and will convert to long-term housing in 2025.
You can see all Anaheim is doing to address affordable housing at Anaheim.net/affordable.