LANCASTER – Los Angeles County received $12.9 million from the state for the Sierra Highway Hotel project, which will convert two adjacent motels in Lancaster into interim housing, providing 38 units and supportive service space for people who are homeless, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday.
The governor’s office said the Lancaster motels need rehabilitation, but could welcome residence within eight months of the funding being received.
The grant is part of Project Homekey, a state program to create permanent housing in apartment buildings, hotels, and motels 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 that Los Angeles 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. Project Homekey grants were also awarded 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.
“Homekey is proof that we can solve homelessness,” Newsom said in a news release. “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.”
The Department of Housing and Community Development has created the Homekey Awards Dashboard where Californians can track Homekey project awards by dollar totals, project type, progress and region. The dashboard is updated in real time as additional projects are approved.