Fremont pursues $40.2 M Home Key Grant for its Motel 6 Housing Project

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Plans are underway for the Motel 6 Housing Project on Research Avenue in Fremont, which is intended to transform the currently existing motel into permanent affordable homes. The city was given the go ahead to apply for a $40.2 million State grant, after a unanimous vote by the Fremont City Council. Now the city can make its submission for the State’s Home key application by the end of this month and the funds are expected to be awarded by March 2022.

Redevelopment and purchasing costs for the Motel 6 Housing Project are estimated at $33.4 million which the city is hoping will be covered by the Home key grant, and according to city officials the grant also includes a request for the city to cover a portion of the total operational costs, worth about $5,2 million. Based on these terms, the city has opted to pay for all the operational and support services for the first five years. The start date for this affordable housing project is dependent on the grant application and if the city is successful, construction will begin not too long after, with the proposed completion date set for March 2023. After completion, the city expects that all units would be occupied by June 2023.

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The Motel 6 Housing Project to provide up to 156 affordable housing units

The Motel 6 Housing Project is a step towards the city’s goal of providing accommodation for thousands of homeless people and extremely low-income people, through the redevelopment of hotels, motels, apartments and other old buildings across the state. After the conversion, the 159 unit motel will feature between 152 to 156 studio apartments available for residential use and all rooms will be equipped with kitchenettes. Managers and staff would also have additional rooms made for them to live on site. The director of the city’s welfare department, Susanne Schenfil, pointed out that the new affordable housing units would serve mostly singles or couples and could not contain large families due to layout and sizes of these studio rooms.

Schenfil was pleased with the funding opportunity provided by Home Key and she said this grant would provide the city with a significant amount of funding to complete the Motel 6 Housing project within a year. The city intends to partner with Shangri-La Industries once the grant is awarded and the company will receive about $31.8 million of the funding.  This housing project on completion will be managed and owned by Shangri-La Industries.