Hospitality House got a vote of confidence this week from the Grass Valley City Council.
The council unanimously approved a letter in support of a proposal by Nancy Baglietto, Hospitality House’s executive director, to proceed with a renovation project that will expand the number of units for seniors.
According to City Manager Tim Kiser, Baglietto approached the city and requested the letter of support to rehabilitate the Sierra Guest House in the Glenbrook Basin.
“This is a property Hospitality House purchased in October 2021,” he said. “And they’re looking to maintain age restrictions — seniors and long-term disabled.”
The first phase is to rehabilitate two of the three buildings at 131 Glenwood Ave. Two of the structures are uninhabitable for safety reasons, Kiser said.
“So, they’re really needing to be demolished,” he said. “The idea is get a grant from California Department of Health and Human Services to replace the demolished structures, eventually replaced by modular units for current residents. The main house currently houses 17 people. Then they can look for funding to build to house the additional people. The city has collaborated with Nancy in the past, and this is why we want to partner on this project.”
The grant would total around $2.5 million to $3 million. The state’s department of Health and Human Services has $500 million statewide for its Community Care Expansion Program. Sixteen million dollars have been earmarked for counties with populations under 200,000.
Kiser said that Baglietto has promised to address a lack of parking at the site, though few of her clients have cars.
Council member Bob Branstrom said that the guest house is at a dead end on a short and narrow street.
“It’s not what they propose to do, but the biggest concern is, what’s the process of talking to the neighbors, are they bringing them on board?” he asked.
Kiser said the project will go before the Development Review Committee, though it won’t need to appear at the Planning Commission or City Council.
Vice Mayor Jan Arbuckle said she and Mayor Ben Aguilar have toured the facility.
”To get more housing and get more senior housing is something that’s extremely needed,” she said. “Nancy has been nothing but forthcoming and helpful. I think the city should put in a letter of support.”
Council member Hilary Hodge said many people in the community are near homelessness themselves.
“They are just one paycheck away,” she said. “And many in the community have faithfully paid their rent and whose houses got sold out from under them when the market got high. So, we’re lucky we’ve got a community partner like Hospitality House, and they are amazing.”
Aguilar also expressed enthusiasm for the proposal.
“It’s a great location,” he said. “The bus line is fairly close. So this project just makes a lot of sense.”
William Roller is a staff writer with The Union. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org