Governor Gavin Newsom yesterday announced Mendocino County received $9,669,500 in the first round of awards for Homekey, California’s innovative $600 million program to purchase and rehabilitate housing, including hotels, motels, vacant apartment buildings and other properties, and convert them into permanent, long-term housing for people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness.
The County is in negotiations to purchase a motel on Orchard Ave. in Ukiah, California. Following purchase, the County intends to utilize the motel to provide transitional housing for individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. All rooms will remain in their initial configuration as studio-style units. While the initial purpose of the facility will be transitional housing, the County plans to upgrade at least 50% of the facility into permanent housing within ten years of acquisition. Overall, the County aspires to offer rooms for a variety of populations at risk of or experiencing homelessness such as persons experiencing severe mental illness, veterans, seniors, CalWorks eligible families, families involved in Child Welfare Services, people with complex medical conditions, and people with permanent supportive housing vouchers. Approximately eight rooms will be set aside as “flex” rooms, able to serve the target populations listed above, or others in need such as victims of domestic violence, Adult Protective Services clients, and others.
This grant award would not be possible without the support, expertise and collaboration of the City of Ukiah, Mendocino County Homeless Services Continuum of Care, Rural Communities Housing Development Corporation (RCHDC) and LACO Associates.
Commenting on the award, Board of Supervisors Chair John Haschack stated, “I am very excited that Mendocino County has received the Homekey award of $9.6 million. This will allow us to purchase needed housing facilities for our vulnerable residents that are homeless, veterans, CalWorks recipients, seniors and people suffering from mental illness. Our people as well as our communities will benefit from this project.”
“Senator McGuire and Assemblyman Wood continue to be Mendocino County’s biggest champions. $9.6M in Project Homekey funding is a tremendous victory for our rural community. This investment in Mendocino County will positively impact hundreds of lives and we look forward to working with our local and state partners to mitigate this housing crisis in our community,” stated Mendocino County Chief Executive Officer Carmel Angelo.
Governor Newsom announced Homekey in June, and in July made $600 million in funding available. Of that, $550 million will provided to cities and counties by California’s direct allocation of the federal Coronavirus Aid Relief Funds, with an additional $50 million provided by the state to supplement the acquisition and provide initial operating funds. Awards will be announced on a weekly basis through October 2020. To learn more about the Homekey funded projects, please visit bcsh.ca.gov/homekey.