State approves grants to convert hotels into permanent housing for homeless residents

Hotels in Oakland and San Francisco slated for conversion

By Eli Walsh

Oakland and San Francisco have been awarded a combined $22 million in state grants to convert hotels in each city into permanent housing for homeless residents, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office said Wednesday.

The city of Oakland will receive $14.8 million to buy and renovate the Piedmont Place hotel, located at 55 MacArthur Blvd., into 44 studio apartments and one two-bedroom housing unit.

Once completed, the complex will serve as permanent housing for chronically homeless residents and will offer counseling and other social services.

San Francisco will receive a $7.48 million grant to convert a 25-room hotel into permanent housing for young people aging out of the foster care system as well as residents at risk of homelessness who make 30 percent of the city’s Area Median Income, which was $119,136 as of 2020.

Like the Piedmont Place project, the complex in San Francisco will include supportive social services for its residents.

Both grants and projects are part of the state’s Homekey program, which the state launched in 2020 in an effort to expand housing access through the conversion of vacant hotels, motels and other buildings into both permanent and transitional housing units.

The state has awarded more than $1.3 billion in Homekey grant funding across the state since launching the program. Those funds have supported the creation of nearly 8,000 housing units, according to state officials, including hundreds in the Bay Area.

“We are continuing to act with urgency to fund quality Homekey projects, because that’s exactly what the moment demands — swift, decisive action to assist the most vulnerable Californians,” Newsom said in a statement.

The Oakland and San Francisco projects are two of 10 Homekey awards announced statewide Wednesday, totaling $136.6 million, according to Newsom’s office.

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