By RIA ROEBUCK JOSEPH
THE CENTER SQUARE
(The Center Square) – Californians experiencing homelessness can expect more options for housing in the near future. Approximately $736 million in Homekey third round funding for local governments, to build or purchase housing has been made available, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced.
Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency Secretary Lourdes Castro Ramírez said “With this new investment we are one step closer to housing and supporting Californians that lack a decent, safe and dignified place to call home.”
Among other things, BCSH works through the Department of Housing and Community Development to prevent and end homelessness and facilitate safe, affordable housing.
The Homekey model uses virtually every manner and opportunity to provide a broad range of housing options to state, regional and local public entities to renovate buildings, acquire property and develop residential units. Homes are created from hotels, motels, hostels, and commercial properties and other existing buildings into permanent or interim housing for those most in need. The program also provides for the building of single-family homes, multifamily apartments, adult residential facilities, and manufactured housing.
“At a time when more housing is desperately needed, Homekey is proving that we can build faster, and at a fraction of conventional construction costs,” Gov. Newsom advised.
Across the state, the Homekey program has created 12,774 permanent and interim homes through 210 housing projects.
“Homekey continues to demonstrate California’s commitment to work with local partners to expand the housing supply and build new homes for our most vulnerable neighbors,” Mr. Castro Ramirez said.
HCD Director Gustavo Velasquez commented, “Adding more interim and permanent homes faster than ever before is crucial to ending and preventing homelessness. State and local collaboration have been key to the success of Homekey, and we must continue to act with urgency to accelerate housing production at all income levels and affirmatively further fair housing.”
The estimated $736 million is part of a larger package which allocated $3.4 billion for use at the local level through the Homekey program.
California’s cities continue to be ranked among the top ten for having the highest populations of homeless individuals.
Many entities subscribe to the Homekey program to provide housing to their communities. The Governor encouraged eligible applicants to submit applications to HCD as soon as possible to be considered for funding through July 28 2023.
“My administration has made available an unprecedented $3.4 billion to date for Homekey to use at the local level to address housing and homelessness. I look forward to seeing more communities use this latest round of funding to boost housing around the state,” the governor said.