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SF purchases second hotel site to house homeless people as part of state’s Project Homekey program

San Francisco received additional funding on Friday to purchase a second hotel site under the state’s Project Homekey program and transform it into permanent supportive housing for the homeless.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the latest allocation of $ 81.44 million in funds for five candidates during a visit to San Jose. San Francisco’s share is $ 29.1 million for the purchase of Hotel Diva, a 130-room hotel near Union Square at 440 Geary St.

The city had already received $ 45 million in funding from the Homekey project for the purchase of the 232-room Granada Hotel.

The Mayor of London Breed celebrated the news in a statement.

“By expanding access to housing and other forms of support, we can create real opportunities for people to get off the streets and pave the way for them to live fuller and healthier lives,” said Breed. . “We have sought additional funding from Homekey State to ensure that the thousands of people who have stayed in our emergency housing during this public health crisis are released to stable housing.”

Both hotels are located in District 3, represented by Supervisor Aaron Peskin.

“Ultimately, the best way to tackle homelessness after a navigation center is established is to create homes to refer residents to,” Peskin said in a statement. “The Diva Hotel is a perfect opportunity for even more affordable and sustainable accommodation.”

The two sites were solicited as part of a partnership between the city and the nonprofit Episcopal Community Services, which will use the funding to acquire sites.

“Now is the time to take bold steps to acquire new permanent supportive housing units, a proven solution to ending chronic homelessness,” Beth Stokes, executive director of Episcopal Community Services, said in a statement. “The acquisition of Diva by ECS, in collaboration with Granada, will add 362 permanent supportive housing units to the city’s homeless response system. “

The Granada Hotel, at 1000 Sutter Street, has 80 units occupied by seniors. The remaining 252 units will be occupied by former homeless residents who have been temporarily moved to hotels due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing moves homeless people to supportive housing units using a coordinated entry system.

The City is also providing funds to help purchase the Granada site, according to a budget analyst report.

The Homekey program’s $ 45 million grant includes $ 39 million to purchase the site and $ 5.5 million for two years of operating grants. But the total cost to acquire and rehabilitate the site is $ 59.8 million. The City covers the difference with a loan through the Housing Town Hall.

The Homekey Project was launched in response to COVID-19 to purchase and rehabilitate vacant hotels, motels and apartment buildings that the homeless can move into. The program is administered by the California Department of Housing and Community Development.

To date, more than $ 709 million has been awarded to 45 applicants for 78 projects totaling 5,068 units, according to the governor’s office. The average cost per unit is $ 139,000.

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