newsom-pledges-extra-$200m-for-homeless-housing,-funds-more-bay-area-projects

During a visit to San Jose, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a $200 million boost to his Project Homekey homeless housing fund on Friday — a major cash infusion that will back several Bay Area projects.

Newsom’s office has already allocated $81.4 million of that new funding to six projects that will provide 430 new units of housing for homeless Californians. That includes two projects in Oakland, and one each in San Francisco and Santa Clara County.

“We are not walking away from our commitment, not taking our eye off the ball, at all,” Newsom said Friday. “And we are weathering the current economic storm, and we are doing more than we have ever done in the history of the state. And we are just winding up.”

Newsom launched Project Homekey — which helps cities and counties buy hotels and other buildings and turn them into homeless housing — with $600 million earlier this year. The goal was to create longer-term homes for unhoused Californians who had been temporarily sheltering in hotels during the coronavirus pandemic. But the funding was quickly used up as applications poured in. Last month, Newsom said he was seeking an additional $200 million. On Friday, he said the state’s Joint Legislative Budget Committee approved his request.

San Francisco won $29.1 million from the new funds to purchase the 130-room Hotel Diva near Union Square and convert it into permanent supportive housing.

“By expanding access to housing and other support, we can create real opportunities for people to get off the streets and create a path for them to live a fuller, healthier life,” Mayor Breed wrote in a news release.

Oakland won nearly $17.5 million for two projects — an 82-unit hotel and another 21-unit property for veterans. Santa Clara County won more than $9.5 million to buy a 54-unit building, which eventually will be developed into 110 new units of permanent supportive housing.

Check back for updates.

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By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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