The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors continue to make innovative and impactful moves in the effort to find those experiencing homelessness access to the services they need for a better life and housing opportunities to give them a clear path out of homelessness.
In addition to being a burden on the County, the Courtyard Inn motel at 3425 Orange Grove Avenue along the Watt Avenue corridor had long been a problem property for the neighborhood and surrounding business community. In 2013, Sheriff Deputies were called out to the site 248 days of the year with more than 500 calls for service. In 2014 the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office sent a Legal Notice to Abate Nuisance to the property owners citing that the property was being used as a base for prostitution activities which also brought related crimes, including drugs, thefts and assaults.
After the notice by the DA’s Office, the property owners committed to installing surveillance cameras, implementing a vehicle registration processes, deterring loitering, and posting signs that comply with legal notice requirements. Despite these precautions, in 2014 there were 517 calls for service ranging from assaults, robberies and prostitution which led to 101 arrests.
“The Courtyard property was a long-time blight in the community – with the highest number of service calls in the area several years in a row.” Said Thomas Bland Sacramento County Sheriff Homeless Outreach Team Supervisor. “We are thrilled with the sale and renovation of the property to permanent housing. It is going to make a huge difference in the safety and sustainability of that region.”
In December of 2014, Mercy Housing California purchased the property to ultimately develop the facility into affordable housing. The Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency (SHRA) board – comprised of both County and City officials, approved the funding needed for the predevelopment costs and loan for the purchase price.
“Through this public-nonprofit partnership with the County and Mercy Housing, we have an opportunity to transform the lives of homeless residents by providing them with housing and supportive services which are so critical to successfully transition to a stable future,” said SHRA Executive Director La Shelle Dozier. “Additionally, this project will improve quality of life for residents in the community and spur economic development in the area.”
Mercy Housing has similar renovated and repurposed projects in Sacramento – all experiencing good results and positively impacting their communities.
In 2017 the project was officially designated for persons experiencing homelessness and those living at 30 percent or lower of the median income level. Remodel construction is slated to begin in the new few months, with a project completion date of 2020.
The proposed Courtyard Inn remodel will provide 92 new affordable housing units, including 78 permanent supportive housing units for special needs individual and families, and 14 workforce housing units. The complete transformation of this highly visible site at the gateway to North Highlands will have an immediate and lasting improvement in the quality of life in the community.
The facility will have a 24/7 staffing, kitchen, laundry facility, computer work stations, game/exercise areas, pool, community garden, picnic/BBQ area, dog run, and full array of onsite resident services. 130 open parking spaces in the gated community. Several of the units will be reconfigured to provide mobility access as well as visual and audio communication capabilities.
Tenants will have access to the medical and behavioral health care services they need through support from Sacramento County Behavioral Health, Mercy Housing and local hospitals.
The County is hopeful that this new facility will be a conduit for change in the community – encouraging a revitalization of the area and bring hope to those that have been struggling for far too long.
Source: JANNA HAYNES, SACRAMENTO COUNTY COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA, 916-874-6168