In 2014, New Life Homes CEO John Bloomfield turned the dilapidated 110-room motel into a 71-unit mixed-use affordable housing development with 3,400 SF of commercial space.
“When we came in, it was a big mess,” Bloomfield said. “Now, it’s one of our success stories.”
The Sundowner is one of many motels nationwide that has been converted into affordable housing over the years, and the trend is gaining momentum.
As the homeless population grows nationwide and the housing affordability gap continues to widen, especially in large metros, cities across the country are grappling with how to provide shelter for homeless and lower-income residents.
One of several obstacles, neighborhood associations — fearing a decrease in property values and an increase in crime — complain to the city about having an affordable housing project next to their neighborhood.
“We need to dispel the myth that affordable housing is a blight and reduces property values or brings in crime,” Bloomfield said. “Affordable housing is good for the neighborhood. These are quality developments.”