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LA supervisors transfer Project Homekey properties as permanent housing

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, Oct. 4, approved the transfer of eight Project Homekey temporary housing facilities to various nonprofit groups, along with more than $110 million in funding to convert the properties into permanent supporting housing for the homeless.

Created by Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2020, Project Homekey provided hundreds of millions of dollars in grants to counties and cities to buy and renovate hotels, motels, vacant apartment buildings and other sites to convert them into housing for the homeless.

The first round of Homekey funding, totaling $108 million, allowed Los Angeles County to acquire 10 such properties. Nine of them are still operating as short-term, interim housing facilities, while the 10th has already been converted to permanent supportive housing, according to a motion by Supervisors Holly Mitchell and Janice Hahn.

Under the motion, the board approved the transfer of eight of the nine remaining Homekey properties in Baldwin Park, Compton, Norwalk, Long Beach, Whittier, Harbor City and Hacienda Heights to various nonprofit groups. The ninth property is expected to transferred at a later date.

The board also approved the transfer of more than $110 million to the various groups to facilitate the renovation of the properties into permanent supporting housing.

Funding for the renovations will come through the county’s allocation of the American Rescue Plan Act’s Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funds.

Mitchell said the renovations made with the funding will upgrade the infrastructure at the sites, which will provide “dignified permanent housing.”

Hahn expressed concerns about the fate of people who are currently living at Homekey sites, and what will happen to them when the renovation work begins. Cheri Todoroff, executive director of the Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative, said the county will be working to either find them permanent housing or other interim housing.

“We certainly don’t want any of them to fall back onto the streets,” Hahn said.

The board asked for a report in 30 days on efforts to relocate current residents of the sites.

Construction and renovation of the Homekey sites is expected to begin next year.


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