SLO agency awarded grant to buy Anderson Hotel, house homeless

December 1, 2022


Following a deal with the state of California, the Housing Authority of the City of San Luis Obispo (HASLO) will purchase the Anderson Hotel in downtown SLO and convert it into an apartment building intended to house homeless people.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Thursday he is awarding HASLO $11.6 million toward the purchase and remodel of the Anderson Hotel. The 68-unit hotel has contained affordable housing for very low-income seniors and disabled people for more than 40 years. HASLO currently administers the affordable housing units in the building.

HASLO will convert the structure into a 42-unit apartment building, according to Gov. Newsom’s office. Two of the units will serve as manager apartments.

Newsom announced funding for the San Luis Obispo project along with grants of $19.9 million, $2.4 million and $2.2 million respectively to the city of San Jose, San Benito County and Santa Cruz County for other homeless housing projects. Each of the grants are part of the state of California’s ongoing Homekey awards, a program that funds the purchase and conversion of properties, including hotels, motels and vacant apartment buildings, into housing for the homeless.

Previously, the state awarded HASLO a grant of $15 million in order to purchase Motel 6 in Paso Robles and convert it into a shelter and housing for the homeless.

“Homekey is proof once again that what California is doing to solve homelessness – and to keep people from falling into homelessness in the first place – is moving with speed, innovation, and on-the-ground coordination,” said California Department of Housing and Community Development Director (HCD) Gustavo Velasquez. “HCD first heard about the Anderson Hotel through our work with Preservation Notice Law, and through robust technical assistance and flexible resources like Homekey, we are preserving much-needed affordable homes for seniors to age in place.”

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This place is, and has pretty much been a bastion property for equality. This keeps rich psychos in check and provides a community hub for us folks who aren’t silver spoon babies trying to navigate this newly gentrified Slo county. This will help keep inflation down and help moderate the progression for the return of regular folks living downtown. All naysayers seem to be negative Vs positive for a new community center opportunity for regular folks vs Victoria Secret or Firestone families slave labor Hotel. I feel like a Chinese citizen of Slo chased out decades ago by privileged demographics who built their wealth of blood of the innocent. Google China Town San Luis; and its racist end. God forbid provide rent to a tenant who is poor but has all their paper work and bank statements in line and W2s, college, etc etc. God forbid it isn’t a Cal Poly student selling drugs or raping people drunk every night. Oh CalPoly, God forbid we forget them.

How does this provide a community hub, keep inflation down, or moderate progression? Quoting a comment below ” The result of developing a solution based on an overdeveloped sense of compassion.” These individuals are not “part of the community” to begin with; that’s the problem…

Chinese citizens decades ago? Poly students “raping/selling drugs”? Stay on topic.

The result of developing a solution based on an overdeveloped sense of compassion.

Oh, this will probably work.

What will be the requirements of those moving into the Anders Hotel. How many hours per week will they be required to work at qualifying jobs? How much rent will they be required to pay (a reasonable percentage of their working salary would be sufficient). Are there any required requirements that tenants need to meet?

Just to give the lazy a free place to stay will turn the Anderson into a unspeakable dumpster dive and another waste of the taxes paid by the working population.

You call people who aren’t born rich lazy; ie, the majority?

I gave a ride to a lady struggling with her “luggage” as she crossed the street in front of me.

She was 65 and unmarried. She worked her entire life but was not rich. She told me how she fell ill and was in the hospital for 6 months. While in the hospital her apartment was rented out and her possessions gone. She was bankrupt. Catholic charities gave her a place while she convalesced but when rehabbed completed she was discharged to the streets of SLO. Her days now spent securing a night at the women’s shelter.

She did not strike me as lazy. You can call her such if it makes you feel better.

I feel I can do a better job of relating.

Those who for no reason and are able bodied refuse to work and are satisfied to live off of those who work for a living are indeed lazy. Giving them free housing does not solve the problem, it only makes those who live off you and me more secure in their thinking. Those who receive anything from the hard work of others need to demonstrate that they have skin in the game and not just sit back and take whatever they can from those who pay taxes.

Do you really think we are talking about giving one of these apartments to the guy passed out pissing in the street?

Unfortunately the homeless do not fit neatly into a well defined box; lazy, drug addled, worthless, disposable. This lady is just one example. Let’s work to find her a home instead of concentrating on those who are not redeemable.

I predict the SLO police being called there at least 10 times a week…

How many times are Slo PD called to Cal Poly related crime per week?

Cal Poly has their own police Dept…. and the students pay big bucks to live here and attend school here… see the difference?…. I’m sure you will if you give it some thought…

Good question

Downtown property is prime real estate. Expensive real estate. Why is it that the homeless need to be right smack in the center of downtown? So they can go shopping and hit the local restaurants and bars with their disposable income? Wouldn’t some lesser[priced real estate make more sense.

Downtown has become a disgrace, with no enforcement of removing the homeless sleeping, panhandling and harassing others on the streets. Not to mention it’s getting extremely dangerous, with many who are violent (I know, been attacked twice).

Time to think seriously about leaving SLO, which is well on its way to becoming the Happiest Homelessiest Place on Earth.

Oh, only rich people are allowed. Ok.

Are there currently residents of the hotel and what happens to them?

I thought it was already being used for this purpose, for some time now…?

Yes, there are, and I know a few. Elderly women, in wheelchairs living on SSI. What will happen to them? Where are they supposed to go?

And another thing: the mobile home park on South Street in SLO has been evicting a lot of tenants, no reason given. These are also poor people, working and barely getting by. Will this be another homeless shelter, or will this be rezoned and gentrified?

The South Peak park was in serious danger of going belly up, because the low income and homeless tenants failed to maintain their trailers, spaces, and repeatedly destroyed park facilities. This would have eliminated the park entirely. If there ever was a ghetto in SLO…this was it.

A revamp of residents and homes (nearly all spaces are new park models houses), and a rebuild of facilities, streets, and fencing, has created a vastly improved setting for affordable housing. I know of one couple, that recently moved from the Sacramento area to the park, because it suited their unpretentious lifestyle. Some tenants adapted, and still live there.

This is a band-aid at best. There is already a significant homeless shelter on Prado Rd doing little to nothing in alleviating the homeless issue. Seems to be some confusion as to why these individuals are homeless to begin with… Drug addiction, alcohol addiction, and an unwillingness to care even for themselves. Every single personal and professional relationship they’ve ever had has been destroyed by their own choices. That is why they are on the street. RARELY is it an individual that is “down of their luck”. Any person that was struggling, without those addictions etc, has numerous people and places to turn before choosing to live outside. Family, friends, and even state agencies will however not support your addictions just because. So on the street they stay. REALITY CHECK.

I believe you are correct. The “homeless” problem is a manifestation of the real problem, mental illness. We have a mental illness epidemic in our society.

Oh yeah a bandaids,vs, people sleeping in Slo creek? God forbid social benefits like food stamps and social security and public schools and healthcare.

So, when the blameless homeless inevitably turn the Anderson into the same garbage pit and fire trap, that every other hotel converted by the state for the homeless became, who do we complain to? How much of that $11 mil will HASLO skim off for high value “administration costs”, like they have with every other grant and subsidy?

SLO already has a bad homeless problem. Now, the state (and city by fiat), will make sure the downtown core will be a rotten one. Can’t wait to see how Farmers Market handles the extra burden.

You pretty much nailed it. The Anderson has already been filling with the mentally ill homeless and forcing the out the low-income seniors for which this was a wonderful repurposing for the last 40 years. HASLO is a non-governmental body which gets all of its money from the government, like CAPSLO, all PR, PSA’s, and fat salaries with no accountability.