Homekey funds another 370 homes, helping Californians at risk for homelessness in Oakland and across the state

Publisher’s note: This story was published on California Governor Gavin Newsom’s website. Recently, a planned Homekey project in Susanville near Diamond View School has become an item of contention in the community. We hope this story will inform our readers.

California Governor Gavin Newsom at the site of a new Homekey project in Oakland.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: California is announcing six new Homekey projects, creating 369 affordable homes to serve individuals experiencing homelessness in communities throughout the state, including Oakland. In total, the state has invested in more than 250 Homekey developments, creating more than 15,300 units of housing to serve over 167,000 Californians.

Today (Fe. 16, 2024), in Oakland, Governor Gavin Newsom announced new Homekey grant awards for six new projects that will create an additional 369 homes for Californians at risk of or experiencing homelessness, including several developments focused on young people transitioning to adulthood.

Communities benefiting from these new awards include Oakland, Fresno, San Diego, Yuba City, and Los Angeles.

“Homekey continues to deliver needed housing faster for Californians struggling with homelessness,” Newsome said. “By utilizing existing facilities including hotels, motels and former office spaces, properties are being quickly transformed into housing — helping to solve the homelessness crisis while creating welcoming places for Californians to call home.”

Today’s $99.9 million in grants is administered by the California Department of Housing and Community Development and will create new affordable housing in the cities  of Oakland, Fresno, San Diego, Yuba City, as well as the city and county of Los Angeles.

To date, this innovative program has funded 250 projects that will include 15,319 homes, serving more than 167,164 Californians over the projects’ lifetimes.

“The homes created through the Governor’s Homekey initiative will change lives for generations,” said Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency Secretary Tomiquia Moss. “Through the projects awarded so far, more than 167,000 vulnerable Californians will be relieved of the burden of housing insecurity, providing them with a solid foundation – and critical services – from which to explore opportunities that once may have seemed out of reach.”

“The evolution of Homekey has inspired creativity among localities and developers to embrace new building models that bring critical affordable housing online more quickly,” said HCD Director Gustavo Velasquez. “Through Homekey, we are now able to provide the foundation of housing stability to young people entering adulthood without the family support so many take for granted, as demonstrated through several projects today.”

The project the Governor toured in Oakland today is a former Quality Inn that was previously awarded $20.4 million and will be converted to housing with a total of 104 permanent units serving individuals experiencing or at risk of homelessness, as well as homeless youth. In total, the community of Oakland has received $133.5 million in Homekey funding.

Homekey originated as Project Roomkey early in the COVID-19 pandemic as an effort to provide shelter to unhoused Californians in a non-congregate setting. While early Homekey projects focused on hotel and motel conversions, projects in the third round of Homekey have included a hospital conversion, new builds, and innovative modular construction models. The program goal remains to rapidly expand availability of affordable housing to help Californians exit or prevent homelessness.

To learn more about today’s awardees, click here.