Congressman Salud Carbajal and city leaders visited the Anderson Hotel Friday to highlight their efforts in securing an affordable housing complex in downtown San Luis Obispo.
Built in 1923, the Anderson Hotel originally played host to tourists visiting town, but over the last 40 years, it's served as an affordable housing complex for the city's lower-income, elderly and disabled communities.
Last year, longtime business owners put the Anderson up for sale, worrying tenants that their affordable living option could be in jeopardy.
Executive Director of San Luis Obispo's Housing Authority, Scott Smith told KSBY it was a priority to preserve the building's role in providing affordable housing.
"Many of these folks came to us that were fairly desperate for a place to live," Smith said. "Preservation of this building is very personal for many of them."
President Joe Biden's 2022 federal budget came with a solution, however, as $17 million was allocated to funding various projects across the Central Coast, with $2 million directed to purchasing the Anderson Hotel and saving the 68 affordable housing units inside.
"It was insightful and gratifying to see their pleasure and excitement in this project," reflected Rep. Salud Carbajal, (D) 24th District, after meeting with residents at the Anderson. "We talked to veterans and seniors of all different backgrounds."
Still, the process of revamping the property has brought forth additional challenges. San Luis Obispo's Housing Authority recognizes that the century-old hotel has worn down over the years, and they say a large-scale renovation process will continue over the next couple of years.
The funding is in addition to another $2 million from the American Rescue Plan that was passed one year ago as an effort to provide relief during the coronavirus pandemic.