A downtown hotel whose tenants fought to prevent owners from closing its doors for good, has been sold and will be maintained as a hotel for low-income tenants, a credit union official said Friday.

Last December, tenants of the Stratford Hotel, 169 E. Second South, sent a petition to Mountain America Credit Union, which then wanted to raze the building, asking them not to close the hotel."If this place is to close, some of us will be homeless," the petition read. "And the loss of affordable housing like the Stratford is one of the causes of the national crisis of homelessness."

But now, credit union officials say they have found a buyer interested in the building's future as a source of low-income housing.

"According to my understanding he has every intent to keep the hotel as a single-room-occupancy hotel for people that need the building for that type of housing," Mountain America President Grant Clayburn said.

Clayburn would not identify the buyer.

Last December, while the hotel's 50 occupants fought to retain the small rooms in the hotel, the credit union and the city feuded over the fate of the 80-year-old building. The city wanted it saved.

But after negotiating with several potential buyers, Clayburn said he now has earnest money from a buyer who wants to keep the building for low-income housing, a scenario that pleases Salt Lake City officials.

"I think it's good news," said Pete Suazo, executive assistant to Mayor Palmer DePaulis.

"It's good news because we at one point thought we were going to lose 52 units of SRO housing," he said.

SRO housing - small, inexpensive housing for single residents - fills an important niche in the city's housing stock and provides affordable shelter for those struggling back into society's mainstream, Suazo said.

"It meets the needs of our low-income residents and it fills a stop-gap housing need for those who can't quite afford an apartment and it helps rejuvenate the downtown," he said.