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Commissioners consider converting hotels to affordable housing

Posted at 6:00 PM, Feb 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-22 18:05:09-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Hotel rooms like the ones at University Inn and Suites could soon be a creative solution to Tallahassee's housing shortage.

Commissioners will hear public comment Wednesday about a proposal to turn 36 University Inn & Suites units and an additional 76 units at the Days Inn on Apalachee Parkway into low-cost single-family homes.

Mayor John Dailey says the project could be an attainable option for those experiencing homelessness.

"Right now in Tallahassee, we have a shortage of housing affordable housing. This is a creative way to provide people a pathway to homeownership which might not be just a single-family detached house," said Dailey.

Members of the Alliance for Tallahassee Neighborhoods are mostly on board with the plan but want to make sure the change doesn't detract from property values. They've also expressed concerns about the decreased property management and noise control.

"Some of these older hotels and motels are not very attractive looking," said ATN member at large Wendy Grey. "They were built along time ago. They had very little landscaping. And they are there now, so we have to live with that condition, but if they were to be converted to residential, are there opportunities to increase the landscaping, just make them look generally more attractive."

Members of ATN will be present at the meeting to suggest what they think will make the project worthwhile for those already living nearby, and for those who could be soon to come.