Since 1994, Step Up has been providing innovative permanent supportive housing (PSH) solutions through various developments across the nation, and motel conversions are a significant portion of our growing portfolio. Our experience has demonstrated that the traditional model for financing and developing government-financed permanent supportive housing projects is broken and impedes the development of housing in a quick, cost-effective manner. Projects that are solely funded by government sources can cost 200% to 500% more than similar private sector developments. Plus, they typically take four to five years to complete.
Step Up is a recognized industry leader in motel conversions.
We have developed a proven model of creating housing through the conversion of blighted motels into PSH. This unique model is comprised of private/public partnerships and results in projects being completed much faster and more cost-effectively while yielding more units. Step Up has gained extensive experience converting motels into PSH and has become a national advocate and industry expert in favor of the motel conversion model. Our extensive expertise has allowed us to develop and continually improve on this innovative, scalable housing solution allowing us to develop more units of housing at a significantly faster rate, in an extremely cost-effective manner.
Step Up and private co-developers have successfully completed six motel conversions and have two others that are slated to open soon. In addition, we have up to 20 new motel projects in development and these total over 1,000 units of permanent supportive housing. In these projects, Step Up serves as the:
- Co-developer – we work with our investment partners in acquiring and owning the project as well as conducting the rehab to convert the motel units into housing
- Service provider – Step Up has earned a national reputation as an exemplary housing-first agency with a stellar record of working with the most chronically homeless individuals. Step Up enjoys a 97% retention rate of all those we house. In the motel conversion model, Step Up has one full time case manager for every 25 tenants. The case managers for the project are located on site and are solely focused on working with the tenants on a day-to-day basis.
- Property management – We also serve as the property manager with our staff serving as the Resident Manager who lives on site. Property management is a specialized function in a homeless housing project, and Step Up has 25 years’ experience in property management in PSH serving chronically homeless individuals.
During the summer of 2021 California State Association of Counties, Tod Lipka, President and CEO of Step Up, presented Step Up’s role and process of our motel conversion. View video of Tod Lipka’s presentation.