Groundbreaking ceremony at No-Tel Motel, to be transformed into affordable housing

Published: Aug. 23, 2023 at 6:41 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - The name of the project is “Milagro on Oracle,” tackling issues like affordability and safety in one of Tucson’s historic communities.

This project is yet another investment into the Thrive in the 05 area, after the $50 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. However, this project is separate from HUD’s plan.

This project is the first time in 10 years that the City of Tucson is participating in the low-income housing tax credit program.

With 2 million dollars from the tax credit program, developers will renovate two existing buildings and construct a third. In all, 63 affordable units will be built, with 19 of those set aside for first housing for people coming out of homelessness.

“We have a lot of great developers in Tucson that have been bringing projects through the low-income housing tax credit,” said Liz Morales, the assistant city manager for the City of Tucson.

“But, the city hasn’t been a part of that. So, this is the first time the city has had a project in ten years, and it’s adding to what the other housing developers have been doing here in Tucson.”

Residents in the Thrive in the 05 have cited affordability as a main concern living in the neighborhood. Part of that deals with paying affordable rent, but it also deals with the types of jobs available in the area.

Mayor Regina Romero says investments in the community are already happening to attract more businesses and higher-paying jobs.

“The Thrive in the 05 talks about economic development; it has façade improvement programs for our small businesses in the area, [and] it has money for workforce development and workforce training in partnership with Pima College,” said Mayor Romero.

“So, it’s a very complex and holistic issue that we are investing in, with the help of so many partners including the State of Arizona, and the federal government.”

Another big concern is safety.

According to the Thrive in the 05 Transformation Plan from 2022, the lack of neighborhood connections has contributed to a perception of the area being a hotspot for crime. Mayor Romero hopes that that perception will slowly change through proactive action for youth and creating centers for connection.

“Through layered investments, the City of Tucson is making into our parks, into residential roads, into planting trees, it takes an all-hands-on-deck approach, and we need to make sure that we’re layering investments for areas of our city that have not seen investment in a long time,” said Mayor Romero.

“That creates a sense of unity and of neighborly spirit.”

Milagro on Oracle is expected to complete construction by the end of next year, with the grand opening planned for 2025.

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