Converting a hotel or motel into a shelter, transitional housing, or affordable housing is much faster than building new facilities from scratch
The Vancouver Housing Authority is looking for hotels and motels to buy to convert them into affordable housing.
The Housing Authority previously purchased the former Howard Johnson by Wyndham Vancouver Hotel & Suites for use as a non-collective shelter. The refurbishment of the 63-room building will take place in August, and Bertha Cain Baugh Place is expected to open in September. The on-site service provider Catholic Community Services of Western Washington is working on hiring staff.
Some rehabilitation work will continue after the people move in. VHA executive director Roy Johnson said the agency wanted to get people to safety as soon as possible.
Converting a hotel or motel into a shelter, transitional housing, or affordable housing is much faster than building new facilities from scratch. It is one of the main search engines by the authority for accommodation of hotels and motels for sale in Clark County.
“There is an additional funding opportunity for this type of activity,” Johnson said. State officials are tweaking the details of the Rapid Capital Housing Acquisition program, which aims to get people into housing faster using existing properties.
An extended-stay hotel would be ideal as rooms usually come with kitchenettes, but Johnson said his agency is interested in all kinds and sizes of accommodation. Hotel rooms can be turned into efficiency units with a similar community kitchen at Central Park Place, a 123-unit supportive housing center on the Vancouver, Virginia campus.
Converting hotels and motels into housing is also a way to repurpose older buildings that may no longer be economically viable for tourists and travelers. Cities across the country are pursuing this path to address the affordable housing shortage and revitalize aging buildings.
Hotel or motel owners interested in learning more can contact Johnson at (360) 993-9500.
Information provided by the Vancouver Housing Authority.