Newsom Announces $62m Emergency Allocation to Support Project Roomkey

On Monday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced the state’s intent to immediately allocate $62 million in one-time funds from the state’s Disaster Response-Emergency Operations Account (DREOA) to counties providing housing to current Project Roomkey participants. According to the Administration, funds are being made available to Roomkey sites to ensure clients living in motel or hotel rooms will not be forced to return to street homelessness while the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Project Roomkey has been made possible through the federal Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) and FEMA cost-sharing and has provided interim housing to approximately 23,000 individuals. As part of the federal legislation passed providing CRF to California, funds may only be used for costs incurred through December 30, 2020. Once this federal funding lapses, it is anticipated that approximately 4,000 individuals living in Roomkey sites may lose their shelter.

The $62 million in additional funds will be provided by the Department of Social Services (CDSS) to Roomkey jurisdictions. $24 million will be available to support Project Roomkey operations, $35 million will be available to develop and implement plans to transition individuals from Project Roomkey into permanent housing, and $3 million will be available to contract with experienced housing provides to provide technical assistance.

The announcement from the Governor’s Office is available here. A Department of Finance (DOF) memo describing the additional investment is available here.