Oakland awarded $15.5 million in Homekey Round 3 funds for the Imperial Inn

Oakland’s seventh Homekey award will support 47 permanent supportive housing units for unhoused residents; City is awaiting results from four additional applications in the current round.

imperial inn photo

Oakland, CA – The City of Oakland has been awarded $15,536,504 in State of California Homekey funds to acquire and convert the Imperial Inn hotel into housing that will address the needs of our most vulnerable neighbors. The project is expected be completed in 12 months, and the building fully occupied 3 months later.

Located at 490 West MacArthur Boulevard near MacArthur BART Station, Imperial Inn will offer 47 units of permanent supportive housing (PSH) in Oakland’s District 1. Bay Area Community Services Housing Corp and Memar Properties, Inc. (MPI Homes) will develop and manage the property, and Bay Area Community Services (BACS) will offer supportive, wrap-around services for people experiencing chronic homelessness.

“I’m incredibly grateful for Gov. Newsom’s partnership and leadership as we work together to end the crisis of homelessness,” said Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao. “Homekey funding is an important part of our strategy to end homelessness in Oakland and across the region. This new grant award brings Oakland to a total of 323 total housing units through seven awarded Homekey projects to date, meaning new homes for 323 of our most vulnerable residents.”

"Homekey is a transformative resource to create new permanent supportive housing at record speeds, and BACS is honored to again partner with the City of Oakland and MPI to quickly develop this desperately needed supportive housing for vulnerable Oaklanders experiencing homelessness," says Jamie Almanza, Executive Director of BACS.

President of MPI Homes, Ali Kashini said “Homekey is the most cost-effective and efficient way to provide service-enriched housing to the houseless. BACS and MPI are excited to apply what we have learned from Rounds 1.0 and 2.0 here with Imperial Inn. We value our partnership with the City of Oakland, its leadership and the staff alike.”

Homekey, administered by California Housing & Community Development, is the state’s renowned program that began at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to facilitate the purchase and/or rehabilitation of hotels, motels, vacant apartment buildings, manufactured homes, and other properties, and convert them into homes for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

“As the City’s seventh Homekey award, this funding shows the State’s continued support and recognition of Oakland’s ability to innovate with our partners to deliver high quality housing and services, and compete for limited funding,” said Oakland Housing & Community Development Department Interim Director Emily Weinstein.

Homekey projects are part of the City’s approach to address homelessness by innovatively leveraging City dollars to maximize State and Federal investment to create more deeply affordable PSH units. With this latest award, Oakland has secured a total of $75 million of State Homekey funds since 2020 to house residents experiencing homelessness, leveraging $38.5 million in local funds. The City’s seven awarded Homekey projects will provide a total of 323 deeply affordable units for the unhoused. Oakland’s other awarded Homekey projects include:

  • Clifton Hall, a former dormitory that offers 63 units for seniors and families;
  • Inn at Temescal, a repurposed motel with 21 units for veterans;
  • Project Reclamation, a series of scattered single-family homes throughout Oakland for families and individuals;
  • Piedmont Place, a repurposed motel with 44 units;
  • Inn by the Coliseum, a repurposed motel with 36 units; and
  • Kingdom Builders Transitional Housing, a repurposed motel with 34 transitional units for homeless youth and formerly incarcerated residents.

“It has been greatly rewarding to see the growth and impact of Homekey on California’s most vulnerable residents,” said State HCD Director Gustavo Velasquez in an announcement. “To me, the homes funded through Homekey represent more than just buildings. They represent real people exiting homelessness more quickly, and the opportunity for housing stability to greatly improve their quality of life.”

Approximately $400 million remains to be awarded from the current round of funding. The City of Oakland has submitted four additional applications in the current round; State HCD will continue reviewing applications, and grants will be announced on a rolling basis until all funds are exhausted.

Building on previous success, Oakland HCD is developing a new Rapid Response Homeless Housing (R2H2) program that will allow staff to evaluate incoming proposals and determine how best to advance new housing for people experiencing homelessness on a rolling basis. With the R2H2 program, the City is positioning itself to create new housing opportunities for our unhoused neighbors without relying only on the state, as well as to harness other local partners in a joint effort to truly address homelessness in Oakland.

“The City is focused on moving people off of the streets into safe and stable housing,” said Interim Director Weinstein. “The success of our equity investment strategy which prioritizes permanent supportive housing is demonstrated through this Homekey award and our soon-to-be launched Rapid Response Homeless Housing program. These programs leverage our local dollars with County, State and Federal resources to provide much needed housing and robust services for people exiting homelessness.”

The latest Homekey award follows additional awards from the State of California earlier this year, including a $40.7 million IIGC award, a $2.39 million grant from the State’s Prohousing Incentive Pilot Program, and a $10 million Regional Early Action Planning (REAP) grant.

Homelessness and housing affordability are top priorities for Oakland residents. To address these challenges, the City is carrying out a multi-pronged approach. The Housing and Community Development Department is addressing housing affordability issues through its “3P” framework: Protect Oaklanders from displacement; Preserve the existing affordable housing stock; and Produce new, deeply affordable housing units.

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Jean Walsh
Public Information Officer


Posted: November 8th, 2023 10:00 AM

Last Updated: November 8th, 2023 10:00 AM

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