Two California Motels Transformed into Transitional Housing

Unlike most transitional housing, which is aimed at individuals, a project in the Southern California desert caters to families.

1 minute read

April 30, 2024, 12:00 PM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Aerial view of The Sierras, a colorful converted motel now serving as transitional housing in Lancaster, California.

The Sierras, a pair of converted motels in Lancaster, California, now serves as transitional housing for 38 families. | Kadre Architects / The Sierras

Two former motels in the desert community of Lancaster, California are now a colorful transitional housing complex with 38 units, reports Nate Berg in Fast Company.

As Berg explains, “Covering four acres, the $7 million campus is the latest location of Hope the Mission, a non-profit provider of homeless services working primarily in the L.A. region. Known as the Sierras, the campus includes housing, support services, a commercial kitchen that serves residents three meals a day, and a variety of outdoor recreation and exercise amenities.”

The complex is specifically geared toward families, a fact that heavily informs its design, which includes play areas and shade structures, a zig-zag fence for security, and walking paths. “Creating a mix of private, semi-private, and communal spaces was a priority for the project, which aims to be a stabilizing space for families as they transition out of homelessness.”

The project, designed by Kadre Architects, faced budgetary constraints and unanticipated challenges such as the need to remove aging septic tanks and build connections to the city’s sewer system. Kadre founder Nerin Kadribegovic takes an optimistic view, noting, “When your budgets are tight and you’re really driven to make an impact, it forces you to be more creative.”

Monday, April 29, 2024 in Fast Company

Single-family homes in a suburban neighborhood in Florida.

New Florida Law Curbs HOA Power

The legislation seeks to cut down on ‘absurd’ citations for low-level violations.

June 16, 2024 - The Guardian

Multistory apartment building under construction.

New Tennessee Law Allows No-Cost Incentives for Affordable Housing

Local governments in the Volunteer State can now offer developers incentives like increased density, lower parking requirements, and priority permitting for affordable housing projects.

June 10, 2024 - Nooga Today

Pumping Gas

10 States Where the Gas Tax Is Highest

As the gap between gas tax revenue and transportation funding needs widen across the country, the funding mechanism is drawing increased scrutiny from both public officials and consumers.

June 9, 2024 - The Ascent

Brick high-rise apartment buildings in New York City

Study: Housing Crisis is About Affordability, not Supply

New research shows that there is no overall shortage of housing units, but all U.S. metropolitan areas face a severe lack of affordable units for low-income renters.

5 hours ago - University of Kansas

Couple on one side of desk with banker on other side looking at paperwork.

Are Race-Based Lawsuits Affecting Community Lenders?

Shelterforce spoke with community lending leaders and experts about the current mood across the sector. What, if anything, are organizations doing to avoid becoming the next target of conservative activists?

6 hours ago - Shelterforce Magazine

Rendering of Glory Park in Lewisville, Texas.

New Park Promotes Community and Connectivity in Lewisville, Texas

The city of Lewisville just celebrated the opening of Glory Park/Parque la Gloria, helping to improve park access and the quality of life for residents.

7 hours ago - Lewisville Leader

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.