Home California Governor Newsom Visits Project Roomkey Site in Pittsburg to Announce “Homekey”

Governor Newsom Visits Project Roomkey Site in Pittsburg to Announce “Homekey”

by ECT

State effort has served an estimated 14,200 individuals in three months

15,679 hotel and motel rooms and 1,345 trailers for extremely vulnerable individuals experiencing homelessness to help flatten the curve & preserve hospital capacity

Governor announces Homekey, the next phase of COVID-19 response to protect homeless Californians

State and counties will spend upwards of $1 billion to purchase hotels, motels, vacant apartment buildings and tiny homes and provide services to the homeless

PITTSBURG – Tuesday, Governor Gavin Newsom visited a Project Roomkey motel in Pittsburg, Contra Costa County to highlight progress that the state and counties have made in providing safe isolation capacity to protect people experiencing homelessness from COVID-19 and to launch Homekey, the next phase in the state’s effort to protect vulnerable homeless Californians from the pandemic.

Homekey, backed by $1.3 billion in newly available and eligible funding through the budget the Governor signed yesterday, will allow for the largest expansion of housing for people experiencing homelessness in recent history, while addressing the continuing health and social service needs of this vulnerable population.

Under the Homekey program, counties will partner with the state to acquire and rehabilitate a variety of housing types: hotels, motels, vacant apartment buildings, residential care facilities, and other tiny homes. All these new placements will serve people experiencing homelessness.

Counties and cities across the state will identify which buildings they intend to purchase and apply to the state for $550 million in grant funding dedicated to this purpose. Once acquired, the local governments will plan for the long-term social services and subsidy needs of the Homekey buildings, with access to $50 million in dedicated Homekey support and an additional $300 million in general local homelessness support which can be used for Homekey, among other priorities.

In addition to these fund sources, counties and cities can access billions more in additional federal stimulus funding which, while available for a variety of purposes, is eligible to be used to provide safe shelter for homeless individuals during the pandemic.

The Governor also announced $45 million in philanthropic support – $25 million from Kaiser Permanente and $20 million from Blue Shield of California – for a new services subsidy fund directed at counties that are implementing Homekey. These contributions, originally announced in January as part of the Governor’s proposed Access to Housing Fund, were redirected by the companies to support the Homekey effort.

Acquisitions and conversions undertaken as part of Homekey will benefit from new legislation that the Governor signed yesterday, providing a CEQA exemption and automatic zoning compliance to new homeless housing utilizing newly available state and federal funding.

“We’ve long dreamed about scooping up thousands of motel rooms and converting them into housing for our homeless neighbors,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “The terrible pandemic we’re facing has given us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to buy all these vacant properties, and we’re using federal stimulus money to do it. Hand in hand with our county partners, we are on the precipice of the most meaningful expansion of homeless housing in decades.”

The Homekey initiative builds upon the state’s current COVID-19 response effort, Project Roomkey, which has directly led to 15,678 hotel and motel rooms statewide being made available for this extremely vulnerable group of Californians. Over 14,200 people have been served by Project Roomkey motels since the epidemic began, according to estimates from the California Department of Social Services.

These Project Roomkey placements are spread across 52 counties and 293 hotels. The counties are responsible for identifying which individuals need a Project Roomkey placement, and then moving those individuals into the rooms.

In April, Governor Newsom announced a reimbursement partnership with FEMA, whereby local, state, and tribal governments are eligible to 75 percent cost-share for Project Roomkey activities, including hotel and motel rooms and wraparound supports such as meals, security, and custodial services.

These emergency protective measures are protecting public health by isolating the medically-vulnerable, thinning out the shelter population for social distancing, slowing the rate of spread of COVID-19 and, in turn, flattening the curve.

Homeless policy leaders and local elected officials have long called for hotel/motel conversion as a strategy to bring housing for the homeless online quickly and cost effectively.

Nan Roman, President & CEO, National Alliance to End Homelessness: “The National Alliance to End Homelessness commends Governor Newsom and the State for their innovative and unwavering commitment to reduce homelessness via Homekey. Homekey is the logical and much-needed next step to Project Roomkey, California’s smart strategy to protect people experiencing homelessness in the COVID-19 pandemic. Homekey recognizes that homelessness is a public health AND a housing crisis and seizes the opportunity of the moment to increase the state’s affordable housing stock and target new units to those most in need.”

Philip Mangano, former Director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness for Presidents Obama and Bush: “Today Governor Newsom backs up his priority on homelessness with a $600 million investment to move homeless people off the streets and beyond shelters to starter homes. In his focus on housing through hotel/motel conversions the Governor is building on an initiative that reduced exposure to the virus and now offers a statewide strategic approach to produce more units faster and cheaper. That’s good for the taxpayer and good for homeless people.”

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, Chair of the Big City Mayors Coalition: “California’s big cities feel the crisis of homelessness most acutely. On behalf of my dozen colleagues in the Big City Mayors Coalition, I express deep appreciation to Governor Gavin Newsom and Legislative leadership for creating the Homekey program, demonstrating their commitment to partner with our cities to confront the urgent needs of our unhoused residents. In unprecedented and uncertain times, we are grateful for the strong commitment of our state elected leaders to supporting cities on the front line working to end homelessness and human suffering.”

Heidi Marston, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA): “We’re grateful to Governor Newsom for his leadership and support of Project Roomkey. As a result of his quick and decisive actions, we were able to shelter more than 4,000 people most vulnerable to contracting COVID-19, providing not only a roof over their heads but a safe space to isolate. Through this endeavor, we’ve proven we can bring people indoors quickly through strong partnerships between government, business, and community leaders. We have built momentum that we will hope will help us move folks from Project Roomkey into permanent housing.”

Tomiquia Moss, Founder & Chief Executive, All Home California: “California’s homelessness crisis preceded the COVID-19 pandemic. The State was creative in its response with the Project Roomkey initiative ensuring a safe housing response during this public health crisis. Recognizing the opportunity to purchase hotels and motels and provide housing options for people experiencing homelessness, California continues to demonstrate leadership in responding to this crisis. This approach will secure thousands of units statewide working in partnership with cities and counties and community based organizations. It will take strategies like these during this economic and public health crisis to ensure our most vulnerable residents aren’t left behind.”

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Ken Jul 1, 2020 - 8:26 am

Wow, I can’t believe the long term expense this will generate while not solving the root cause of homelessness. The expense incurred by this short sighted program will be astronomical. Expect tax increases in the very near future to help cover The cost of this. Meanwhile the costs of goods and services is skyrocketing. Just leaves less money in the pockets of the hard working individuals that are bearing the true burden of this socialist experiment.

Jay Jul 1, 2020 - 10:20 am

Well Ken maybe if renters didn’t charge astronomical high rent prices being greedy this wouldn’t happen in the first place! Greed from the fall out of SF and now Oak because it’s all about the ALMIGHTY DOLLAR! People have less money in their pocket because they can’t afford to live near the jobs already and the uneven tax code is what puts the burden on hard working individuals.

Ken Jul 1, 2020 - 3:42 pm

Jay the landlords are not charging astronomical rents, they are charging the market rate. If that landlord bought a house for 500000, the mortgage is 2850. Add a little on top to fix the place up when someone moves out and the rent is 3000. And that means they make zero profit. And hope the repairs are not too bad. The situation is what it is.

Not sure what you mean by uneven tax code property taxes are for the most part pretty even across California thanks to prop 13.

My point previously was I don’t want to pay someone else’s utilities and rent when I am having a hard time making ends meet myself. This solves nothing only puts the burden further on my shoulders, while the recipients of this get a free stay at the motel six.

I feel given the current economic situation being homeless is a conscientious choice, or a result of mental issues.

This doesn’t address either, just money wasted for us to pay back.

Alexndra Jul 2, 2020 - 3:32 am

Jay, you ask your real estate agent friends (if you have any) to stop forcing the sellers to JACK UP THE PRICE so they an get a larger commission. That might be a good start! These greedy cockroaches even run ads on radio and TV stating how much over the asking price they can get for their client. Bloody shame on them! I was going o sell a few of my properties and someone mentioned my name to a real estate agent, and lo and behold, I got a call asking if I could list with them. When I told them I would only ask $50K over what I bought the properties for and I would decide who will be the new owner, they quickly lost interest. Just shows you!

Jean Lemieux Jul 4, 2020 - 9:54 pm

I had the same experience. The RE agent was incensed that I would not go beyond the asking price! I told her exactly what I wanted out of the sale. She stormed out and I wound up selling the properties myself and it was my choice who would be the new owner.

donesse Ramsey Jul 7, 2020 - 2:49 pm

I can’t believe I read what you said but that really is Great I Am low income looking for a property to self please let me know if you have any properties for sale as of now thank you for giving a equal chance to purchase a home wow you merely get minimum profit

Vic Hatfield Jul 4, 2020 - 9:58 pm

Hey Jay! If they can’t afford to live here, then there are 49 other states with a lower cost of living they can go to. No one is holding a gun to their heads forcing them to stay here. Ever think of that? Why should we have to underwrite monetarily those who cannot afford to live here?

donesse Ramsey Jul 7, 2020 - 2:51 pm

Had you ever thought that some people who really can’t afford to live here continue to live here because their family are here or their elderly parents who have purchased their own home need them to stay close sometimes the choice to pick up and move comes with many strings attached and consequences for others that need to be taken into consideration

Jaime Jul 1, 2020 - 11:31 am

THiS piece of human shit gave half-a-breath to the protesters, THEN had the audacity to tell ***We The People*** -that OUR **4th of July FAMILY GATHERINGS** are of the most concern….

******Talking Crazy Redicoulousness-infested ideas of pure LUNACY******

–What More do you people need to recognize this Coordinated-Insurgency is WAR ON AMERICA than THIS BLINDING CONTRADICTION on such an important Holiday for our Country!!

The time is now, do not comply!

Jaime Jul 1, 2020 - 12:12 pm

THiS Treasonous NWO Stooge merely gave half-a-breath to the statewide riotous mobs of so-called ‘protesters’, AND THEN…
–> he had the audacity to tell us…
***We The People***
that OUR **4th of July FAMILY GATHERINGS** are of the most concern….

******Talking Crazy Redicoulousness-infested utopian Dictatorship ideas of pure LUNACY******

–What More do you people need to recognize this *Coordinated-Insurgency is WAR ON AMERICA* than THIS BLINDING CONTRADICTION on such an important and Historic Holiday for our Country!!

The time is now, stand on your own two feet.
-do not comply!

Larry P Jul 1, 2020 - 1:40 pm

Time to adjust that tinfoil hat eh?
It’s called a virus for a reason…

Dana Roach Jul 1, 2020 - 4:27 pm

Jamie, go out and do something about. Form a cult and drink from the red cup. You are all talk, no action. Go out on the street and profess your dumbness.

Roxanne Fox Jul 2, 2020 - 2:33 pm

Tuesday, I went out to shop in some stores on Loveridge and Leland, and there was Governor Nuisance and a camera crew on the ground floor of MOTEL 6 giving his sermon! Looks like at OUR expense, the bums are getting free rooms, room service, housekeeping, food deliveries and other incidentals ALL at paid by us He plans to keep them there until the end of time, so it seems. No wonder people are moving out of the state so their taxes are not applied to these people’s comfort! He referred to them as “Californians” when most of them were shipped here from other states with a one-way ticket in hand.

Enough Jul 4, 2020 - 8:33 am

We need to recall him ASAP Before the state is in complete disaster


your mamas boyfriend Jul 4, 2020 - 2:40 pm

damn,I thought it said honkey—-notice all the morons have a “signer” standing next to them looking retarded? last I heard all T.V. since 1980 have close caption for the hard of hearing —– guess there were sooooo many deft people at the event soy boy Newsom needed him or it,maybe a cali transgender freak.

Jg Jul 5, 2020 - 10:10 am

Working normal middle class with pay through the nose for the loss of money spent by Newsom on illegal immigrants and homeless people. Nothing is free unless you are homeless or an illegal immigrant. Everything is overtaxed if you are an employed middle class worker. The beginning of socialism. The beginning of California’s financial collapse. Vote informed and intelligent to turn this around.

donesse Ramsey Jul 7, 2020 - 2:56 pm

Say what you may but put yourself in their position and see what your opinion be the same with this, demica lot of people who have a little money are going to end up having 9 and then I guess they would be able to understand the less underprivileged like the old saying goes it takes one to walk and one shoes before you can have an opinion of what it looks like from there every person that is homeless is not a deadbeat and they come from all types of races but nobody never takes the time to find out how did people get to that stage nobody woke up one morning and said I want to live the life of a homeless bum I’m sure

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