Newsom Administration Renames Project Roomkey to Homekey

On Tuesday, Governor Gavin Newsom provided updates on the state’s progress with Project Roomkey, a first of its kind partnership with FEMA to shelter individuals experiencing homelessness during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The state has procured 15,679 hotel and motels rooms and 1,345 trailers and served an estimated 14,200 individuals in 52 counties in its three months since launching. To reflect an intent to ensure more permanent shelter and services, the Governor announced the state has renamed Project Roomkey to Homekey.

Homekey has the financial backing of $1.3 billion in funds available through the 2020-21 Budget Act and will facilitate local jurisdictions’ efforts in acquiring and rehabilitating hotels, motels, vacant apartment buildings, residential care facilities, and other tiny homes. Among the funding available is $550 million in federal funds to assist local jurisdictions in identifying and acquiring buildings and up to $350 million for general local homelessness supportive services. Additionally, Kaiser Permanente and Blue Shield of California have committed $25 million and $20 million, respectively, for a new services subsidy fund for jurisdictions implementing Homekey.

The full announcement from the Governor’s Office is available here.