SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) today announced the first set of awards for the expanded Homekey program, California’s innovative, nation-leading effort to purchase and rehabilitate structures and convert them into housing for people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness. Today’s grants include $105 million for four awards, totaling 433 new homes for people exiting homelessness.
“Budgets are a statement of values, and with the California Comeback Plan, we have made it crystal clear – we will not let up on our commitment to doing everything in our power to address homelessness,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “Homekey continues to change lives for the better in communities all across California by placing individuals on a path to long-term stable housing with services.”
Since Governor Newsom launched Homekey in June 2020, the groundbreaking program brought 6,000 units of housing online in under six months, for a fraction of the cost of new construction. In September, Governor Newsom expanded Homekey with an additional $2.75 billion to keep people safe and off the streets. This is a part of the Governor’s unprecedented $12 billion in homelessness investments contained in the 2021 California Comeback Plan.
“We applaud Governor Newsom for this historic investment to scale Homekey and house individuals experiencing homelessness– especially as we continue to deal with the uneven impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency Secretary Lourdes Castro Ramírez. “These awards show first-hand how the state is partnering with local communities, to develop solutions that safely and quickly house our most vulnerable neighbors.”
“One of our primary objectives is always to act with urgency to address homelessness and housing needs by connecting people with affordable housing faster,” said HCD Director Gustavo Velasquez. “Homekey is well known for flipping hotels and motels and turning them into housing units for those experiencing homelessness. With this second round of Homekey we will be seeing other project types – repurposing things like multifamily buildings, creating modulars, and adding to mixed-income and mixed-population buildings. It’s this type of innovation that’s needed to end our housing crisis.”
A total of $105 million was awarded by HCD, which administers Homekey, for four projects, totaling 433 units of housing. Additional awards will be announced in the coming weeks. Today’s announced awards include the following projects:
- The City of Victorville has been awarded $28 million to create and operate 110 modular one-bedroom units with a minimum capacity of 170 beds, to provide interim housing to people experiencing homelessness. The project is part of the Victorville Wellness Center, a campus featuring onsite supportive services and ample community space.
- The Housing Authority of the County of Kern has been awarded $8.4 million to build 40 units of Permanent Supportive Housing. This is a new construction project being developed on vacant land in Bakersfield, CA.
- The County of San Mateo will receive $55.3 million to construct a 240-unit Navigation Center on a 2.5-acre County owned site in Redwood City. The Center will provide transitional housing and intensive support services to those experiencing homelessness to help navigate from unsheltered life to stable housing.
- The County of San Mateo will also receive $13.5 million to acquire and rehabilitate an existing hotel. Of the 44 units, 7 will be ADA compliant. The project will provide service-rich interim housing options to those experiencing homelessness and in need of immediate housing.
Homekey is part of a historic $12 billion commitment by the Governor and the Legislature over the next two years to make real progress in addressing homelessness. Other efforts include $2 billion in flexible grants to local jurisdictions over two years, $50 million in grants to local jurisdictions to help them develop strategies to resolve encampments, and the Governor’s 100-Day Challenge, which, in its fourth cohort, will provide intensive assistance to Sacramento, San Bernardino, Santa Cruz and Merced Counties to develop innovative and community-led strategies to support housing and services connections to persons experiencing homelessness in encampments. The Homekey Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the latest round of grants was released by HCD in September 2021. Completed applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until funds are exhausted or May 2, 2022, whichever comes first.
For more information, please visit the Homekey webpage.