LA County receives over $18 million in grants to convert hotel, 2 motels into homeless units

LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- Los Angeles County received more than $18 million from the state to purchase a hotel and two motels and turn them into interim housing for people experiencing homelessness, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday.

The county received $5.5 million to purchase a 20-unit hotel, which needs to be rehabilitated, and turn it into interim housing with supportive services for homeless families.

The county also received $12.9 million for the Sierra Highway Hotel project, which will convert two adjacent motels in Lancaster into interim housing, providing 39 units and supportive services for people who are homeless. The governor's office said the motels need rehabilitation, but could welcome residence within eight months of the funding being received.

The grants are part of Project Homekey, a state program to create permanent housing in apartment buildings and hotels for people who are homeless or at-risk of being homeless. The state so far has approved a total of 55 projects creating 3,195 housing units for people experiencing homelessness.

Newsom on Wednesday also announced grants to the cities of Berkeley and Arcata, as well as the Housing Authority of Santa Barbara County and the Yurok Indian Housing Authority. The grants are expected to create a total of 232 units.

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"Homekey is proof that we can solve homelessness,'' Newsom said. "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 governor's office said officials will announce more Project Homekey grants in the coming weeks. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until funds are exhausted. The state expanded the program with a $2.75 billion investment last year, with a goal of creating 14,000 long-term housing units. The state began the program with an $846 million investment.

"It's encouraging to see so many great Homekey projects brought forth by our local partners,'' Department of 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.''
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