COUNCIL APPROVES $850,000 TO HELP FUND AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROJECT FOR SELF-SUFFICIENT MENTALLY ILL
The City Council awarded $850,000 Tuesday night to a housing development planned for
adults with mental illness.
The Affordable Housing Fund (AHF) award will help pay for 34 affordable rental units
located at Bishop Street Studios, above Johnson Avenue. Money for the fund comes from
private developers who paid fees in lieu of including affordable housing within their projects
under the City’s Inclusionary Housing Ordinance.
The Bishop Street Studios project began in 2014, when Transitions-Mental Health
Association (TMHA) agreed to purchase the former Sunny Acres Orphanage with plans to
restore the structure, which has been abandoned for 40 years. That building would be
transformed into affordable housing for clients, and additional new units would also be built
on the property. TMHA has partnered with the Housing Authority of the City of San Luis
Obispo to raise money and assist with development of the $8 million project, which is
funded through a combination of sources, including state, federal and private funds.
The project was eligible for the AHF award because it forwards the City’s general plan
policies concerning housing.
Located at 1600 Bishop Street, the project will help tenants live independently with several
services available onsite, including case management, peer-to-peer guidance, and more. The
building is close to county medical facilities, along with grocery stores and a drug store,
which is helpful to tenants who don’t have vehicles.
Tenants rent will be based upon their income, pursuant to local and state guidelines for
affordable housing. TMHA will carefully screen potential residents for admission to the