What is Project Homekey?
On July 16, 2020, the California State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) announced the release of the Project Homekey Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for $600 million to purchase and rehabilitate housing, including hotels, motels, vacant apartment buildings and other buildings, and convert them into interim or permanent, long-term housing. The program's purpose was to expand and diversify housing options for homeless persons at high-risk for serious illness and impacted by COVID-19. Cities, counties, or other local public entities, including housing authorities or federally recognized tribal governments within California, were eligible to apply independently or jointly as the lead applicant with a non-profit or for-profit corporation.
By December 29, 2020, Project Homekey had resulted in the acquisition of 94 projects, representing 6,029 units of permanent housing for individuals experiencing homelessness. Approximately 8,264 individuals, of which at least 1,207 are seniors, are housed or will be housed in 2021 within the nearly 6,000 units created by this first round of Homekey. In addition, as many as 24 of the awarded projects (25 percent of the total number of projects) have or intend to house Transitional Age Youth (TAY) residents between the ages of 18-24 who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness.
Given the success of Project Homekey 1.0, the Governor's proposed FY21-22 budget, released in January of 2021, included another $1.4 billion in grant funding to local public entities, including cities, counties, or other local public entities to develop a broad range of housing types, including but not limited to hotels, motels, single-family homes and multifamily apartments, adult residential facilities, and manufactured housing, and other existing buildings for Permanent or Interim Housing for Homeless Youth or Youth At Risk of Homelessness, Chronically Homeless, and Homeless Family Units (Homekey Round 2).
The Homekey Round 2 Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) was released on September 9, 2021, and the Homekey Round 2 Application became available at the end of September 2021. HCD will accept completed applications on a rolling basis until funds are exhausted or May 2, 2022, whichever comes first.
The list of eligible uses for Homekey funding is as follows:
- Acquisition or Rehabilitation of motels, hotels, hostels, or other sites and assets, including apartments or homes, adult residential facilities, and other buildings with existing uses that could be converted to permanent or interim housing.
- Master leasing of properties for non-congregate housing.
- Conversion of units from nonresidential to residential.
- New construction of dwelling units.
- Relocation costs for individuals who are being displaced as a result of the Homekey Project.