SACRAMENTO:- Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the third round of awards for Homekey, California’s innovative, nation-leading $600 million program to purchase and rehabilitate housing – including hotels, motels, vacant apartment buildings and other properties – and convert them into permanent, long-term housing for people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness. The Governor also announced he has asked the Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC) to approve his request for an additional $200 million in Coronavirus Relief Funding for Homekey. If approved, the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) will provide funding for approximately 20 more Homekey projects now on a waitlist pending additional funds. If approved, the Newsom Administration will have provided local governments with a total of $800 million for acquisition, rehabilitation and operating support under Homekey.
HCD, which administers Homekey, today awarded more than $137 million for 19 projects in 15 California communities, totaling 938 units. These awards bring the total awarded under Homekey to $449.9 million for 33 successful applicants and 49 awards totaling 3,351 units. The statewide average cost to Homekey thus far is approximately $134,000 per unit.
“Not only is Homekey unprecedented in providing capital to house people experiencing homeless, but we are moving with unprecedented speed,” said Governor Newsom. “Most of these projects will be ready to house people very soon after the acquisitions are complete, providing immediate help to our most vulnerable residents.”
“Local communities continue to demonstrate imagination and innovation for using Homekey dollars,” said Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency Secretary Lourdes Castro Ramírez. “From a project in Santa Barbara that includes a comprehensive equity strategy to reach underserved populations, to a partnership with Habitat for Humanity, to providing units for post hospitalization care for homeless persons, local communities are taking full advantage of Homekey’s flexibility.”
The third round of awards includes projects in the following communities:
• Lake County has been awarded $3.38 million, for Hope Center to serve up to 20 homeless individuals at one time as they prepare for permanent housing placement. Construction of the project will be completed by October 1, 2020 with participants being served no later than November 1, 2020.
• The Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency has been awarded $5.2 million to acquire a 45-room motel in Visalia which will begin operating the majority of units as non-congregate shelter for individuals at risk from COVID-19 while remaining units are rehabilitated into permanent supportive housing.
• Tehama County has been awarded $2.34 million to acquire a property that will prevent the loss of 10 existing units and increase the number of available interim housing in the county with an additional six manufactured units. The property is on an operating farm that will provide job training, and the community has been very supporting, making in-kind contributions like repairs and real estate fees to support the application.
• The Mariposa Health and Human Services Agency has been awarded $4.14 million to purchase a 27-room hotel that the county has been operating for five months, focusing on serving seniors and persons under 65 with a disability. The county’s existing COVID sheltered homeless population is disproportionately comprised of these two groups.
• Del Norte County has been awarded $2.8 million to convert an existing 30-unit motel into interim housing by the end of the year and convert it into permanent housing by July 2021 in partnership with Rural Communities Housing Development Corporation.
• Nearly $12.5 million has been awarded to the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency to convert a hotel to interim housing that will immediately serve 106 households that are either homeless or at risk of homelessness and impacted by COVID-19. Their partner is Jamboree Housing Corporation, which will help convert the site into permanent supportive housing by 2023.
• The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles has been awarded nearly $48.5 million for five projects totaling 269 units, including:
o $8.96 million for acquisition of a residential building with 40 studio and one-bedroom units to provide permanent housing to individuals experiencing homelessness in the Hollywood community.
o $2.2 million to purchase an 11-unit property in the Hollywood area that will immediately increase the supply of larger housing units (two- and three-bedroom units).
o $15.4 million for acquisition of a 91-room facility to provide interim housing for 137 individuals and families experiencing homelessness with coordinated entry into permanent housing.
o $13.3 million to purchase a 75-unit facility that will provide interim housing for 113 individuals and families experiencing homelessness.
o $8.6 million for the purchase of a motel that will provide 52 units of interim and permanent housing.
• Nearly $16.7 million has been awarded to the City of Long Beach to convert an existing hotel into 100 units of interim housing. Current interim housing options in Long Beach are limited with interim housing options often available only to veterans, families and those experiencing domestic violence. This project will fill a crucial gap by ensuring more effective transitions into permanent housing.
• The Housing Authority of the County of Santa Barbara has been awarded $3.12 million to acquire an office building to convert into permanent housing with wraparound services The Housing Authority has developed a comprehensive equity strategy to reach underserved populations, which includes outreach in Spanish and English as well as Spanish and Mixteco speaking staff.
• The Scotts Valley Band of Pomo Indians (SVBPI) has been awarded $1.24 million to rehabilitate a 10-unit multifamily residential property just north of Lakeport, in Lake County, to convert into permanent housing. The property includes one-, two-, and three-bedroom units. SVBPI is a landless tribe – one of only three of California’s 109 recognized tribes – which has further exacerbated the community’s housing challenges.
• Nearly $4.3 million has been awarded to the City of Stockton which, in partnership with the Central Valley Low Income Housing Corporation and Stocktonians Taking Action to Neutralize Drugs (STAND), will acquire and renovate an existing 39-unit motel into permanent housing.
• Alameda County has been awarded nearly $14.5 million to purchase an existing hotel and operate it as permanent supportive housing for extremely low-income individuals who have been homeless and who need support. Once purchased, repairs to common areas and vacant rooms will be completed before the end of the year.
• Nearly $6.8 million has been awarded to Sutter County, which is partnering with Habitat for Humanity Yuba/Sutter to acquire a hotel to provide 62 one-bedroom units for permanent housing with on- and off-site supportive services, serving up to 124 people. No rehabilitation is required.
• Humboldt County has been awarded $4.3 million to convert a motel into 48 permanent supportive housing units. Six of the units will provide recuperative care services to homeless individuals exiting hospitalization still needing medical care.
• The County of Los Angeles has been awarded $7.4 million to acquire a facility in Norwalk that will house approximately 56 individuals experiencing homelessness.
“The City of Los Angeles has housed thousands of our homeless neighbors at an unprecedented rate since the COVID-19 crisis began, and this moment demands that we all step up together to create even more housing in the coming months,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “I am grateful to Governor Newsom for his work to deliver this additional funding, which will help us expand our shelter capacity, and bring housing and services to the people in our communities who need it the most.”
“Through our partnership with Homekey, we will be able to provide 40 individuals in the City of Stockton with the dignity that comes with shelter, with the dignity of permanent supportive housing – with the dignity that all human beings deserve, by virtue of being human,” said Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs. “Thank you to the Governor, thank you to the State of California. We’re looking forward to making Stockton an example of how to use data and how to use resources in a way that doesn’t just hide the issues surrounding homelessness, doesn’t just talk about the issues surrounding homelessness, but actually addresses them with what is needed – housing.”
“Our Homekey award will provide the funding necessary to increase the supply of affordable housing for people experiencing homelessness in Santa Barbara County. Homekey will be a big help in our efforts to move people experiencing homelessness into permanent supportive housing and begin changing their lives for the better,” said Executive Director of the Santa Barbara County Housing Authority Bob Havlicek.
Building on the success of Project Roomkey, Governor Newsom in July announced the availability of $600 million in funding for Homekey, the next phase in the state’s response protecting Californians experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness, following approval by the Legislature as part of the 2020-21 state budget. Of that, $550 million will be provided to cities and counties by California’s direct allocation of the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund, with an additional $50 million provided by the state to supplement acquisition and provide initial operating funds. The Homekey funds are being expended in compliance with federal regulations in response to COVID-19.
HCD began accepting applications for Homekey on July 22, 2020. Additional awards are expected weekly until all $600 million has been awarded. The response from local governments and housing providers was significant – demonstrating the strength of these state-local partnerships. By the priority application deadline on August 13, a total of 138 applications had been received from 67 jurisdictions statewide, with a total of nearly $1.06 billion requested.
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