San Jose, Contra Costa County Receive Millions Toward Hotel Rooms for Homeless

State's Homekey project awards $76.5 M to 10 projects statewide in first round

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Two Bay Area communities are among the first round of recipients in Gov. Gavin Newsom's $600 million Homekey project that converts hotels and motels into permanent housing for the homeless population, the governor announced Wednesday.

Contra Costa County was awarded $21.5 million to acquire a 174-room Motel 6 in Pittsburg, and the city of San Jose received $14.5 million to convert a 76-unit property operating as a Roomkey project into permanent housing.

A total of $76.5 million has been awarded by the Department of Housing and Community Development for 10 projects in seven California communities totaling 579 units, the governor's office said.

"We are realizing our dream of helping local jurisdictions acquire thousands of motel rooms and convert them into housing for individuals and families experiencing homelessness," Newsom said in a statement.

Contra Costa County says it has only 20 shelter beds and more than 500 people living on the streets in the eastern part of the county. The Motel 6 adds 174 rooms with beds, showers and bathrooms. There will also be on-site health care, services for behavioral health, meals and assistance in finding permanent housing.

The San Jose funding will allow for moving from leasing rooms to purchasing the property for permanent housing for individuals experiencing homelessness, the city said.

"I am grateful to Governor Newsom for his steadfast commitment in our fight to end homelessness," San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said in a statement. "In 2016, we launched an effort to renovate two deteriorating motels to provide transitional solutions for our unhoused residents. With the help of Homekey, we can expand our efforts to transition our most vulnerable residents to permanent housing."

The projects must complete their purchases by Dec. 30.

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