Campus Renovation

Fresno, Calif., Aims to Convert Motel to Affordable Student Housing

The city of Fresno, Calif., recently proposed the conversion of a local motel into a housing facility for students at Fresno City College. On Dec. 9, 2021, the Fresno City Council voted to submit a joint application to Homekey 2.0 for about $13 million in funds to purchase and renovate the San Joaquin Hotel.

According to local news sources, construction could be complete as soon as fall 2022, providing 69 apartments that could provide space for about 300 students. About half the space in the complex would be reserved for students ages 18–24. Student rent would be subsidized at $367 per month, and residents would be required to be enrolled in at least 9 credit hours and have at least a 2.0 GPA.

The project is a result of a partnership among the city of Fresno, developers UPholdings and RH Community Builders, the Fresno Economic Opportunity Commission and Fresno City College to help house students who would otherwise be homeless.

“Why this particular partnership is so groundbreaking and essential for the future is that any person who is living on Parkway, anyone who is living on the street can apply to Fresno City College in the Spring semester and be eligible for this housing—anybody in our community,” said Natalie Chavez, program coordinator for Fresno City Housing Opportunities Promote Education (HOPE).

Should Homekey 2.0 provide the necessary funds, UPholdings would take charge of purchasing and renovating the hotel. The project’s total budget is about $13 million, about $10.5 million of which would be used to purchase the property.

Local news reports that the funding application is on track for submission by the end of January 2022.

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].