84 housing units set to open for Almeda Fire victims Monday

DOWNTOWN MEDFORD, Ore. — Similar to the former Inn at the Commons and Ramada Inn, America’s Best Value Inn on Riverside Avenue is being converted into housing for families devastated by 2020’s Almeda Fire.

Portland-area-based Fortify Holdings is behind all three projects.

It’s working with various community partners on converting old motels into housing units for people in need.

“I think this is a tremendous model because it is one way we can actually get temporary or permanent units on the ground in very little time,” said State Representative, Pam Marsh.

Rep. Marsh tells us the need for them is dire.

“We cannot sit around and wait to build from the ground, we are going to build from the ground and create lots of permanent housing for people but in the meantime, people need a place to be,” she said.

84-units have been converted at this new location, which is being called The Jackson.

“They’re motel units that have been transitioned to have a kitchenette, really nicely done, very sweet – they range in size from probably 225 square feet to a little bit bigger than that. You know, it’s not huge but it’s a good place for people to call home for a while,” she added.

The state agency Oregon Housing and Community Services is providing rental assistance through the ‘Access Center for Community Resilience’ until June 30th, 2023 for tenants who cannot afford the market rents.

“We were a housing impacted community before we even had a wildfire,” Rep. Marsh said.

Access, along with other state and local partners, is also working to provide fire survivors with educational opportunities, food assistance, and inter-agency referrals to fire-impacted households.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is happening Monday afternoon at the new site to commemorate its opening.

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