A pre-pandemic plan to revamp L.A.'s oldest continually operating hotel for tourists is off, with a new owner planning to retain the building as low-income housing.

Healthy Housing Foundation, a subsidiary of AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), has acquired the historic Barclay Hotel at 103 W. 4th Street in Downtown, with plans to renovate the 158-unit building as housing for extremely low-income and formerly unhoused Angelenos.

“AHF’s Healthy Housing Foundation focuses on the faster, much less expensive model of adaptive reuse of existing buildings, repurposing them as housing for those previously unsheltered, homeless and/or for extremely-low-income individuals,” said AIDS Healthcare Foundation president Michael Weinstein in a news release. “We wanted to highlight this housing model with a festive, old-time holiday-themed reception and plaque dedication ceremony recognizing and honoring the long history of the Barclay and also celebrating its new life as affordable housing for those in need.”

The Barclay, designed by Morgan and Walls, was completed in 1897, and is considered the first hotel in the city to provide electricity and telephone service to each of its rooms, according to the Los Angeles Conservancy. As the neighborhood changed over the 120 years that have passed since its opening, the Barclay gradually transitioned into single-room occupancy housing, before being primed for a revamp as a boutique hotel as recently as three years ago.

AHF, which has frequently marshaled its resources to oppose new mixed-use developments near its headquarters in Hollywood, has become a landlord through its Healthy Housing subsidiary. With its acquisition of the Barclay, the non-profit organization now owns and operates 1,183 affordable rental units in Los Angeles.

While AHF has invested heavily in properties in Los Angeles, its performance as a landlord has not always been met with acclaim by its tenants. In articles published over the past two years, renters at a Healthy Housing property in Downtown have alleged "slumlord" living conditions with broken elevators, rodent infestations, and deferred maintenance.