Habitat for Humanity plans habitat for the homeless in Orland

The Orlanda Inn Motel on Newville Road. Glenn County Observer photo by Larry Judkins.

By Larry Judkins

Glenn County Observer

Habitat for Humanity, the organization made famous in part through the participation of former President Jimmy Carter after he left the White House, has a project planned for Orland.

Working in partnership with the City of Orland and the County of Glenn, Habitat for Humanity (H4H for short) wants to purchase the Orlanda Inn Motel at 827 Newville Road, next to the Subway sandwich shop, and completely refurbish it, adding a second story and, perhaps later, additional residences. The site would not provide temporary shelter or walk-in accommodations, but would establish long-term housing for the homeless.

The Orland City Council has held two public meetings dealing with the proposed H4H project, on Oct. 19 and Nov. 2. Three members of the Orland City Council, Orland City Manager Pete Carr, and Orland Police Chief Joe Vlach also recently visited the H4H 62-room Harmony Village in Yuba City.

The Orland officials were impressed with Harmony Village. Comments made at the Orland City Council meetings indicated that they are convinced a similar facility would be an asset to Orland.

The present Orland Inn Motel requires a great deal of attention from the Orland Police Department. It is believed that the new facility would greatly reduce the demands on law enforcement.

Councilmen also remarked that the H4H facility would greatly improve the appearance of the Newville Road/Highway 32 entryway to Orland.

The selection of residents, H4H says, would require that they meet certain qualifications. Ongoing site management would be provided.

The premises would be gated, and passcodes would be required to enter the property. In another effort to keep the “riff-raff” out, guests would have to check in.

H4H would own and operate the 30-residence facility, while Glenn County Health and Human Services would provide a variety of services to the residents, ranging from behavioral health to employment skills. H4H also has plans for a satellite administrative office in Orland and a ReStore surplus building products outlet.

A great deal depends on the project being awarded a grant from the California Department of Housing and Community Development’s “Homekey Program.” This program provides, the department explains, an “opportunity for state, regional, and local public entities to develop a broad range of housing types, including but not limited to hotels, motels, hostels, single- family homes and multifamily apartments, adult residential facilities, and manufactured housing, and to convert commercial properties and other existing buildings to Permanent or Interim Housing for the Target Population.”

The application for funding to complete the project could be up to $8,000,000.

Here lies the Orlanda Inn Motel. Glenn County Observer photo by Larry Judkins.

Habitat for Humanity is a “faith-based” organization. It describes its mission as “Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope,” and the first of its stated “principles” is to “Demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ.”

However, it also has a non-proselytizing policy: “Habitat for Humanity and its affiliate organizations will not proselytize. Nor will Habitat work with entities or individuals who insist on proselytizing as part of their work with Habitat. This means that Habitat will not offer assistance on the expressed or implied condition that people must adhere to or convert to a particular faith or listen and respond to messaging designed to induce conversion to a particular faith.”

There are concerns that faith-based organizations like H4H that form partnerships with government entities and/or receive government funding of various types are in violation of the constitutionally required separation of state and church. The courts and constitutional scholars are divided on this issue, however.

Critics charge, among other things, that government partnerships with and financial aid to faith-based service organizations can be taken as signs that government entities endorse not just the public services provided by these religious groups, but the religious groups themselves. In the case of the Orland H4H project, some could see it as the City of Orland, the County of Glenn, and the State of California supporting not only Habitat’s project for the homeless, but its religious outlook, Christianity, as well.

Advocates, however, maintain that government entities should assist faith-based social programs so long as they do so without any kind of endorsement or favoritism. They are confident that these organizations can distinguish between permissible social services and impermissible proselytizing.

Following the public hearing at the Nov. 2 meeting, the Orland City Council addressed an authorizing resolution. The resolution states:




A. The Department of Housing and Community Development (“Department”) has issued a Notice of Funding Availability, dated September 9, 2021 (“NOFA”), for the Homekey Program (“Homekey” or “Program”). The Department has issued the NOFA for Homekey grant funds pursuant to Health and Safety Code section 50675.1.3 (Assembly Bill No. 140 (2021-2022 Reg. Sess.), § 20.).

B. The City of Orland (“Co-Applicant”) desires to jointly apply for Homekey grant funds with Habitat for Humanity Yuba-Sutter (“Corporation”). Therefore, Co[1]Applicant is joining Corporation in the submittal of an application for Homekey funds (“Application”) to the Department for review and consideration.

C. The Department is authorized to administer Homekey pursuant to the Multifamily Housing Program (Chapter 6.7 (commencing with Section 50675) of Part 2 of Division 31 of the Health and Safety Code). Homekey funding allocations are subject to the terms and conditions of the NOFA, the Application, the Department-approved STD 213, Standard Agreement (“Standard Agreement”), and all other legal requirements of the Homekey Program.


1. Co-Applicant is hereby authorized and directed to submit a joint Application to the Department in response to the NOFA, and to jointly apply for Homekey grant funds in a total amount not to exceed $8,000,000.00.

2. If the Application is approved, Co-Applicant is hereby authorized and directed to enter into, execute, and deliver a Standard Agreement in a total amount not to exceed $8,000,000.00, any and all other documents required or deemed necessary or appropriate to secure the Homekey funds from the Department and to participate in the Homekey Program, and all amendments thereto (collectively, the “Homekey Documents”).

3. Co-Applicant acknowledges and agrees that it shall be subject to the terms and conditions specified in the Standard Agreement, and that the NOFA and Application will be incorporated in the Standard Agreement by reference and made a part thereof. Any and all activities, expenditures, information, and timelines represented in the Application are enforceable through the Standard Agreement. Funds are to be used for the allowable expenditures and activities identified in the Standard Agreement.

4. City Manager or their designee, is authorized to execute the Application and the Homekey Documents on behalf of Co-Applicant for participation in the Homekey Program.

Councilman Dennis Hoffman moved to approve the resolution and Councilman Chris Dobbs seconded it. In the final vote, they were joined by Mayor Bruce Roundy and Vice Mayor Jeffrey Tolley. Councilman William “Billy” Irvin was absent.

Don’t expect work on the project to begin immediately. This is reportedly going to be a gradual process.

Stay tuned.


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