HOTEL/MOTEL CONCEPT PAPER
Bucks County has numerous forms of “weekly payment” housing options. From the
various Recovery & Sober Houses throughout Bucks County for those with dependency
issues to “hotels/motels” like the Bush House Hotel in Quakertown which will take
almost anyone with enough cash for the weekly rent.
Some, like the Recovery Houses, have strict rules and regulations- having to sign in and
out, mandatory AA/NA meetings- and are monitored 24/7. Others, like the Bush House
Hotel, have few if any rules beyond paying the rent.
While the hotel/motel form of housing may be less than ideal, it does serve a valuable
and useful purpose, in that they will, for the most part, rent to anyone, regardless of
criminal, credit or other derogatory history that would otherwise make them unattractive
and/or undesirable to most “regular” landlords.
Because this housing option is currently being run by private, for-profit landlords, many
of whom only have an eye towards the bottom line and care little, if at all, for the
clientele they serve, it may be a good idea for BHS, Bucks County Housing Group and/or
other service providers to begin to look into developing and controlling this hotel/motel
Client Housing Expense-Many of clients that live in these places spend 70%~90%
of their limited income on rent, leaving almost nothing for food and other needs.
If it were operated by a non-profit, the bottom line would not be the primary
concern, thereby lowering client housing expenses considerably.
Gap Housing- Not every client is ready to move from jail, the street or other
tenuous housing circumstance into completely independent living. Having an
opportunity to stabilize their life and medical situations in one of these
establishments, as they build towards both self-sufficiency and a better rental
history, could go a long way towards preventing recidivism.
Wrap-Around Services- Including case management, peer support and other
services could also help keep the client moving in the right direction
Management- Even under the best of circumstances, running an enterprise such as
this is “management intensive”. Rents needs to be tracked and collected. Rooms
and grounds need to be kept clean. Units need to be furnished (beds, dressers,
sheets, etc.) and maintained (sheets washed, rooms cleaned, etc.)
Size/Scope of Project- My initial search for hotel/motel listings found several
listings that were much too large (200+ rooms) and expensive ($10 million) for
our needs. Ideally, a small (under 50 unit) “mom & pop” motel would be more
Financing- Unless targeted to seniors (HUD Section 202 financing), there is
currently little availability of workable financing for such a project. That said, I
will keep exploring options.