California awarded nearly $19 million to Santa Barbara County to redevelop a Goleta motel to assist people experiencing homelessness.
The Homekey project will convert a Super 8 motel at 6021 Hollister Ave. into about 60 housing units (which include a living space and kitchen area) for individuals experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of becoming unhoused. The facility will provide wrap-around supportive services including health care and mental health services.
The project is expected to cost about $20 million, and Goleta has agreed to put up about $600,000.
“The most important thing is it’s designed to create the stability that is lacking when folks are on the street and unhoused,” Jaime Valdez, Goleta’s neighborhood services director, previously told the News-Press about the project.
The Goleta motel was part of a $70 million slate of Homekey projects receiving funding announced by the Governor’s Office Wednesday. Other projects awarded funds are located in Los Angeles, Humboldt and Alameda counties.
“Homekey is proof that we can solve homelessness,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement. “We’ve swiftly created safer places to live for thousands of unhoused individuals throughout the last two years, and today’s awards continue that progress — creating 232 housing units for folks experiencing homelessness across the state and providing them with the supportive services they need.”
The statewide Homekey program helps state, regional and local public entities convert hotels, commercial properties, single-family houses and more to rapidly expand housing options for people experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming unhoused and impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Four Homekey projects have been awarded in the Central Coast region, creating 168 homes, according to the California Department of Housing and Community Development. More than $49 million has been awarded to the region.
“It’s encouraging to see so many great Homekey projects brought forth by our local partners,” Housing and Community Development Director Gustavo Velasquez said. “Our staff continues to work diligently to review many applications and provide assistance to jurisdictions so we can help individuals in need in every corner of the state. This is the coordination that we need to work our way out of this homelessness crisis.”
Individuals who wish to live at the motel would need to sign a lease and adhere to certain commitments. It will be open to both single individuals and families, Mr. Valdez has said.
Renovations to the Goleta facility include transforming a pool into a community garden and outdoor recreation space. Other renovations will increase laundry facilities and the accessibility of some units.
There are six permanent supportive housing developments in Santa Barbara County. The closest to the proposed Goleta location is Pescadero Lofts in Isla Vista.
More on Homekey projects across the state can be found here: homekey.hcd.ca.gov/awards-dashboard.