Posted on 09/09/2021

 

LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced a major increase in the City’s housing stock for Angelenos experiencing homelessness: the second phase of and additional funding for Homekey, a state program championed by Governor Gavin Newsom to acquire and convert existing buildings to permanent supportive housing; and the opening of the Whitsett West Tiny Homes Village, which will provide 77 tiny homes and 150 beds to unhoused Angelenos.

The Mayor was joined by Council President Nury Martinez, Secretary of the California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency Lourdes Castro Ramirez, and Director of the California Department of Housing and Community Development Gustavo Velasquez at the launch of the second phase of Homekey. The Mayor was joined by Councilmember Paul Krekorian at the opening of the tiny homes village.

“The pandemic has reinforced what we have long known: the only way to end the homelessness crisis is with more affordable, long term, and quality housing,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Creative and lasting solutions like the Homekey program and this tiny home village will help meet the immediate and critical need for housing today, while giving our unhoused neighbors a path to a permanent place to call home tomorrow.”

Last year, through $120 million in State Homekey grants and $60 million of the City’s own funds, the City was able to purchase 15 sites across Los Angeles to turn into 744 permanent supportive housing units for Angelenos experiencing homelessness. Using this year's historic budget surplus, Governor Newsom and the State Legislature appropriated an additional $2.75 billion for additional Homekey acquisitions as a part of a $12 billion state commitment to homelessness. Today’s announcement of the availability of this funding for two additional years is expected to create between 500-1,000 more units of permanent supportive housing in the City.

"The pandemic has impacted so much of our lives, but it has also opened a window of opportunity to create innovative solutions to the homeless crisis," said City Council President Nury Martinez. "In partnership with the state, we are taking real steps to end homelessness for thousands of people by creating much needed, permanent housing in Los Angeles through Project Homekey."

“In the middle of a pandemic, California took bold action to address homelessness by creating more than 6,000 units of housing with the first round of Homekey funding,” said Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency Secretary Lourdes Castro Ramírez. “Our work is not yet done. Homelessness is an issue that touches us all in one way or another and impacts every corner of our state. With this next round of Homekey funding we will continue our work to get vulnerable Californians, especially those in communities disproportionately impacted, off the street and into a safe space they can call their own.”

Following the announcement of Homekey 2.0, Mayor Garcetti announced the opening of the Whitsett West Tiny Homes Village, which will provide 77 tiny homes and 150 beds for adult Angelenos experiencing homelessness. Each tiny home has a bed, shelving, full A/C and heating, and access to storage for pets and additional belongings. Services at the village will include three meals per day, social services, and counseling, as well as staffers dedicated to connecting residents to permanent housing. There are also showers, restrooms, and a laundry facility on site.

Today’s announcement, which was made possible through a partnership with Caltrans and a combination of state and federal funding, marks the opening of the City’s seventh tiny home village. The shelter will be run by Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission and clients are expected to begin moving in on September 21.

“When Whitsett West officially opens later this month we will have enough beds – nearly 800 – to house every chronically homeless person living on the streets of my district, based on figures from the latest homeless count,” said Councilmember Paul Krekorian, “With the rise in the number of tiny home villages and the addition of numerous Project Room Key sites, the City of Los Angeles is taking decisive action to provide housing to our neighbors experiencing homelessness.”