CSAC Bulletin Article

First Round of Project Homekey Awards Announced

September 17, 2020

Governor Newsom has announced the first round of “Project Homekey” awards with $76 million going to local jurisdictions. Project Homekey, funded in the 2020-21 Budget, is a program to purchase and rehabilitate hotels, motels, vacant apartment buildings and other properties and convert them into housing for people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness.

The 2020-21 Budget included $550 million in federal funds (Coronavirus Relief Fund) to be administered by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) for Project Homekey. These funds were designed to be prioritized for counties, cities, and public entities to build off emergency “Project Roomkey” efforts through acquiring or rehabilitating motels, hotels, hostels, and other sites and assets. The Budget included an additional $50 million in state General Fund administered by HCD to generally be prioritized to support operating subsidies for projects funded with the previously mentioned $550 million.

The first round of Project Homekey awards, announced yesterday, will fund 10 projects in seven California communities totaling 579 units. These projects include three county-led efforts:

  • Contra Costa County has been awarded $21,576,000 to acquire the 174-unit Pittsburg Motel 6.
  • Kern County has been awarded $14,970,935 to acquire four sites totaling 151 units for permanent supportive housing.
  • Mendocino County has been awarded $9,669,500 to provide 56 units for interim housing with plans to convert half the units to permanent housing.

Counties appreciate Governor Newsom’s desire to address homelessness and COVID-19 through Project Roomkey and Homekey. The federally imposed timeline associated with CRF funds is an inherent challenge, but the awarded jurisdictions, and other California counties, are up to the challenge and ready to partner with the state to make best use of these funds. California’s counties and CSAC remain committed to addressing homelessness throughout the state and providing the supportive services that keep people safely housed within their communities.

According to the Governor’s Office, additional awards are expected weekly until all $600 million has been awarded. 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.

The full Governor’s Office press release can be viewed here

Additional Homekey resources can be viewed here

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