Gov. Gavin Newsom recently announced that L.A. County is set to receive $60 million to purchase eight motels that will be converted into affordable apartments. With a combined 631 rooms, the apartments will come with supportive services and rent subsidies that will be funded through the county’s Measure H – a tax with the intent to end homelessness – as well as state and federal resources.
The initiative will be done though Homekey, California’s $600 million program to purchase and rehabilitate housing, which include hotels, motels, vacant apartment buildings and other properties with the intention of converting them into permanent, long-term housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
“Behind every allocation we make for Homekey is the story of a Californian who will no longer have to sleep in a tent, in a car or on the street,” said Governor Newsom. “The partnerships with local leaders and their innovative approaches to homeless solutions are inspiring. From helping victims of domestic violence, to LGBTQ youth, to seniors, we’ve seen bold proposals that help a cross section of Californians struggling to find permanent housing.”
Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who championed Measure H, believes that this is an important and crucial step to assist residents who are concerned about living sustainably in the city.
“I applaud Governor Newsom for his unwavering leadership and investing much needed resources to combat this crisis within a crisis – homelessness amid a pandemic,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, whose district will have three Homekey sites. “Project Roomkey enabled LA County to bring 4,000 vulnerable people indoors in just months – an unprecedented accomplishment that protected their health and that of the larger community while simultaneously providing a lifeline to struggling businesses.
Of the $600 million designated to Homekey, $550 million will be provided to cities and counties by California’s direct allocation of the federal Coronavirus Aid Relief Funds.
“We are ready for the next phase, Homekey. We have eight motels lined up to be converted into affordable apartments with services, a key component of our COVID-19 recovery rehousing plan,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas.
Newsom also announced a partnership with Enterprise Community Partners, a nonprofit that was created to develop affordable housing. Through this partnership, Newsom will distribute $45 million in funding – $20 million from Blue Shield of California and $25 million from Kaiser Permanente – to assist operating subsidies for Homekey projects.