LA County Moves to Transform Interim Homekey Properties into Permanent Housing for Persons Experiencing Homelessness

LOS ANGELES, Calif.— In response to the urgent need for permanent housing options for people experiencing homelessness, today, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion authored by Chair Holly J. Mitchell, and co-authored by Supervisor Janice Hahn, to transform ownership of eight Homekey (Homekey 1) properties to community-based developers for the construction of 612 permanent supportive housing (PSH) units, with construction set to begin in 2023.

“Housing ends homelessness. For every 1 temporary housing option we need 5 permanent housing options in order to effectively address this crisis in LA County. Expanding on the proven success of Project Homekey to provide permanent housing is a smart investment that provides stability and gets more Angelenos into homes” said Board Chair Holly J. Mitchell, representing the Second Supervisorial District.

“I talk a lot about how we need to address homelessness with the urgency that the crisis demands, and Project Homekey is a program that is doing that.  At the height of the pandemic, we were able to acquire these motels and immediately use the rooms as temporary shelter for thousands of people across the County” said Supervisor Janice Hahn, representing the Fourth District. “Now, we are remodeling these motel rooms to make them individual apartments so we can get hundreds of people off the streets for good and provide them the support they need to stay housed.”

In July 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced the Homekey Program for local jurisdictions to purchase and rehabilitate hotels and other properties to be used as interim and permanent housing for people experiencing homelessness impacted by COVID-19. LA County invested $108 million from Project Homekey Round 1 to acquire 10 properties which have provided temporary housing and services to nearly 1,500 people experiencing homelessness to date.

Today’s motion takes action on eight of the ten sites that the County purchased to transform from interim to permanent housing sites and invests $148.8 million of the American Rescue Plan funding for necessary renovations. The motion also requires the County’s Homelessness Initiative to report back by December of this year with a relocation plan and schedule for conversion that includes construction timelines and plan to lease up the sites once operational.