Project Homekey: The Silver Bullet to Create More Housing for the Homeless?

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A homeless man sleeps in front of his tent along Van Ness Avenue in downtown San Francisco, California on June, 27, 2016.  (Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty )

As part of his $12 billion two-year plan to address homelessness, Governor Newsom initially earmarked $7 billion to be used for a variety of  housing measures, including Project Homekey, a state-sponsored program that buys existing motels, hotels and office buildings to convert them into housing. Housing advocates say this is a game changer that could create 43,000 units of housing that would help alleviate the suffering of the 161,000 people in California without a home. But some experts say it’s unlikely to be sufficient, as the state’s homeless population grows due to unemployment from the pandemic and the looming end of the statewide eviction moratorium. We’ll talk about how Homekey works, who it serves and whether this ambitious program is a sustainable solution for what has been an intractable problem.


Erin Baldassari, housing reporter, KQED; co-host, SOLD OUT: Rethinking Housing in America

Tomiquia Moss, founder and chief executive, All Home

Heather Hood, northern California vice president, Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.

Jason Elliott, special counselor to Governor Gavin Newsom

Sheldon Cowen, client of Project Roomkey in Marin County