October 23, 2020
State Homekey funding will allow the City to purchase a second hotel site for Permanent Supportive Housing, as part of Mayor Breed’s Homelessness Recovery Plan
San Francisco, CA — Today San Francisco was awarded $29.1 million in capital and operating costs from the State’s Project Homekey for the purchase of the Hotel Diva as Permanent Supportive Housing. The San Francisco Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing and Episcopal Community Services, with support from Supervisor Aaron Peskin, applied for $29.1 million in funding to purchase the 130-room hotel, located near Union Square.
This is the second San Francisco project to receive Homekey funding. San Francisco was recently awarded $45 million in Project Homekey funding to acquire the 232-room Granada Hotel, also in District 3.
“Permanent Supportive Housing is the foundation of our Homelessness Recovery Plan. By expanding access to housing and other support, we can create real opportunities for people to get off the streets and create a path for them to live a fuller, healthier life,” said Mayor Breed. “We pursued additional Homekey State funding to ensure that the thousands of people who have been in our emergency housing during this public health crisis exit into stable housing placements.”
Under the Homekey program, funding will be applied to the purchase of the Hotel Diva, a 130-unit hotel at 440 Geary Street. The project will increase the City’s housing inventory by creating 130 new units of Permanent Supportive Housing for people experiencing chronic homelessness. Supervisor Peskin advocated for the Hotel Diva to be submitted as a Project Homekey applicant.
“Ultimately, the best way to address homelessness after a Navigation Center is established is to create housing to navigate residents to,” said Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who represents District 3 where both San Francisco Homekey sites are located. “When we began negotiating emergency hotel contracts during my first deployment to the Emergency Operations Center, it was with the goal of acquiring sites for longterm supportive housing for those most in need. The Hotel Diva is a perfect opportunity for yet more permanently affordable housing and we’re moving quickly to deliver!”
In July, Mayor Breed announced her Homelessness Recovery Plan, with planned investments in the upcoming two-year budget and continued delivery of funded projects and programs, expanding the City’s capacity in the Homelessness Response System. The Homelessness Recovery Plan will make 6,000 placements available for people experiencing homelessness through Coordinated Entry, including 4,500 placements in Permanent Supportive Housing. This includes acquiring or leasing 1,500 new units of Permanent Supportive Housing over the next two years, the largest one-time expansion in the City in 20 years. The City currently provides housing, shelter, and services to over 13,000 formerly homeless people. This includes services for 10,000 people who are supported in 8,000 units of Permanent Supportive Housing.
“Because housing is healthcare, we have been aggressive in our pursuit of funding as the City moves into a recovery phase and we begin the implementation of the Mayor’s Homelessness Recovery Plan,” said Abigail Stewart-Kahn, Interim Director of San Francisco’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing. “We are thankful to the Governor and for our partners’ help in securing this second grant from the state that will, combined with the Granada Hotel purchase, bring a total of 362 units online through Project Homekey funding.”
“Now is the time to take bold action to acquire new units of Permanent Supportive Housing, a proven solution to ending chronic homelessness. We are grateful for the leadership and partnership of the City of San Francisco and the State of California on behalf of the most vulnerable residents of our community,” said Beth Stokes, Executive Director, Episcopal Community Services (ECS). “ECS’ acquisition of the Diva, in conjunction with the Granada, will add 362 units of Permanent Supportive Housing to the City’s homeless response system, one of the largest expansions of Permanent Supportive Housing in San Francisco history.”
Building on the success of Project Roomkey, Project Homekey is the next phase in the State’s response to protecting Californians experiencing homelessness who are at high risk for serious illness and are impacted by COVID-19. Administered by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), $600 million in Project Homekey grant funding will be made available to local public entities, to purchase and rehabilitate housing, including hotels, motels, vacant apartment buildings, and other buildings and convert them into interim or permanent, long-term housing.
This press release was produced by the Office of the San Francisco Mayor. The views expressed here are the author’s own.