Another Medford hotel converted into housing for fire survivors

MEDFORD, Ore. – Another Medford hotel has been converted into long-term housing with a focus on those displaced by the Almeda Fire.

In late 2020, the Oregon Department of Human Services tried to provide shelter to fire survivors. The intent was for housing to be short-term, but due to the severe lack of affordable housing, ODHS reached out to Portland-area real estate company Fortify Holdings and local community partners to find a solution.

Eventually, Fortify Holdings bought several Medford hotels with the intent of turning them into short-term housing and then, eventually, into long-term rental apartments.

Fortify Holdings already successfully converted the former Inn at the Commons on North Riverside Avenue into an apartment complex, now known as The Merrick. This month, there’s another housing option for wildfire survivors.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held Monday for “The Jackson,” formerly known as Americas Best Value Inn/OYO on South Riverside Avenue.

“Hundreds of families displaced by the Almeda Fire and the pandemic are finding themselves in safe, temporary homes thanks to a creative partnership between Fortify Holdings, Oregon Department of Housing and Human Services, Rogue Community Health and other community organizations,” said Representative Pam Marsh, D – District 5.

“We are thrilled to be part of the solution here in Medford, particularly to be helping those impacted by wildfires,” said Ziad Elsahili, President of Fortify Holdings “We invested in Southern Oregon and purchased this hotel with the long-term vision for creating an apartment community and we’re excited about our public/private partnerships across the region that have enabled us to do just that.”

ODHS said The Jackson holds 84 apartments and the new homes will be prioritized for wildfire survivors over the next month.

“What happened in Medford is so unique, it’s truly been a highlight in my career,” said Sean Keys, Founder of Fortify Holdings. “Helping families in their crucial time of need has been incredibly satisfying to see. One of our missions is to transform lives, and this project will bring much-needed, high-quality housing and medical services to hundreds of Medford residents.”

Wildfire survivors who still need help can call the survivor phone line toll-free at 1-833-669-0554, visit ODHS’ web page for wildfire survivors or learn about other options on the state’s website at

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