LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Gov. Gavin Newsom Thursday announced the release of $2.75 billion to expand the statewide Project Homekey program, which Los Angeles expects will fund 500 to 1,000 new units of permanent supportive housing for homeless Angelenos through the purchase and rehabilitation of hotels, motels, apartment buildings and tiny homes.
"The pandemic has reinforced what we have long known: The only way to end the homelessness crisis is with more affordable, long-term and quality housing," said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. "Creative and lasting solutions like the Homekey program will help meet the immediate and critical need for housing today, while giving our unhoused neighbors a path to a permanent place to call home tomorrow."
The program — which was launched in 2020 to quickly convert buildings into permanent housing in an effort to address the state's homelessness crisis—- will be expanded statewide by up to 14,000 more units, Newsom's office said. The first round of funding created 6,000 affordable housing units.
Los Angeles received $120 million last year through Project Homekey grants and, along with $60 million of the city's funds, purchased 15 sites to create 744 permanent supportive housing units.
"The pandemic has impacted so much of our lives, but it has also opened a window of opportunity to create innovative solutions to the homeless crisis," said Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez. "In partnership with the state, we are taking real steps to end homelessness for thousands of people by creating much needed, permanent housing in Los Angeles through Project Homekey."
The $2.75 billion to expand the program was approved by the state legislature and Newsom as part of the 2021-22 fiscal year budget, which was enacted amid a historic budget surplus. The Project Homekey funding is part of $12 billion to address homelessness across the state.
"California is moving with unprecedented speed to house people experiencing homelessness, through Homekey," said Newsom.
"We are going all in on solutions that work — tackling the homelessness crisis head-on with a constructive, compassionate approach and a focus on serving those with the most acute behavioral health needs. This investment will allow us to build on Homekey's groundbreaking success — creating more housing, faster and with accountability and efficiency."
Local governments across California can apply for Project Homekey funding through the California Department of Housing and Community Development at homekey.hcd.ca.gov.