By Laura Calugar
Community Development Partners (CDP) has opened The Orchard, Santa Ana’s largest permanent supportive housing project to date. The affordable housing property began its $18 million transformation in 2016, when the developer decided to convert a two-story hotel into a 72-unit community dedicated to chronically homeless individuals and small families.
Located at 2151 E. First St., The Orchard provides easy access to Interstate 5 and is in close proximity to several education options. The rehabilitated development features 58 studios and 14 one-bedroom units. In addition to the 1,200-square-foot commercial kitchen and dining room, which will provide residents with free daily meals, upgrades include:
- new unit interiors
- on-site resident services
- property management offices
- outdoor courtyard
- laundry room
- community garden
The Orchard brings together several entities, including the City of Santa Ana, which is providing rental assistance and capital for the rehabilitation. Mercy House is offering supportive services for residents and Continuum of Care is providing funding for services. Integrity Housing is the development partner, while The Ecology Center helped design the on-site garden and will provide ongoing sustainability programming. Official No One Left Behind will be operating the commercial kitchen, Veterans Yoga Project will hold weekly on-site classes and Faces of Santa Ana is responsible for mural painting and arts programs.
“The Orchard is a step towards addressing the homeless crisis in Santa Ana’s civic center and acts as a model for other municipalities when trying to solve their own housing needs. Residents will benefit from a high level of support, which we believe will lead to a high level of success,” said CDP President Kyle Paine, in prepared remarks.
The project utilizes the Housing First model for individuals experiencing chronic homelessness. This approach assists people experiencing homelessness in finding and maintaining housing quickly.
At the end of last year, CDP opened 47-unit El Rancho Del Sol in Mesa, Ariz. The property serves low-income households earning 40 to 60 percent of the area’s median income.
Image courtesy of Community Development Partners