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California Governor Gavin ɫ̳om speaks during a news conference about the state’s Homekey program which transforms former office space, hotels, and other buildings into housing for those experiencing homelessness, at a former Motel 6 converted to apartments for the homeless in Costa Mesa on Thursday, January 18, 2024. Standing behind ɫ̳om are from left: Kyle Paine, president of Community Development Partners; Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley; Costa Mesa Mayor John Stephens and Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)
California Governor Gavin ɫ̳om speaks during a news conference about the state’s Homekey program which transforms former office space, hotels, and other buildings into housing for those experiencing homelessness, at a former Motel 6 converted to apartments for the homeless in Costa Mesa on Thursday, January 18, 2024. Standing behind ɫ̳om are from left: Kyle Paine, president of Community Development Partners; Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley; Costa Mesa Mayor John Stephens and Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)
Michael Slaten
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Gov. Gavin ɫ̳om on Thursday, Jan. 18, boasted about California’s progress in overhauling hotels and other buildings into housing for those at-risk of homelessness, with more than 9,000 units having been converted since a statewide program began three years ago.

The governor, at the site of a former motel turned permanent supportive housing in Costa Mesa, said it’s an initiative that’s proven to work to help address the homeless crisis, and called on voters to support

  • Kyle Paine, left, president of Community Development Partners, tours an...

    Kyle Paine, left, president of Community Development Partners, tours an apartment at a former Motel 6 converted into housing for the homeless with California Governor Gavin ɫ̳om in Costa Mesa on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024. It is part of the statexe2x80x99s Homekey project which transforms former office space, hotels, and other buildings into housing for those experiencing homelessness. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Kyle Paine, left, president of Community Development Partners, tours a...

    Kyle Paine, left, president of Community Development Partners, tours a former Motel 6 converted into housing for the homeless with California Governor Gavin ɫ̳om, right, in Costa Mesa on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024. It is part of the statexe2x80x99s Homekey project which transforms former office space, hotels, and other buildings into housing for those experiencing homelessness. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • California Governor Gavin ɫ̳om speaks during a news conference about...

    California Governor Gavin ɫ̳om speaks during a news conference about the statexe2x80x99s Homekey project which transforms former office space, hotels, and other buildings into housing for those experiencing homelessness, at a former Motel 6 converted to apartments for the homeless in Costa Mesa on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024. Standing behind ɫ̳om are from left: Kyle Paine, president of Community Development Partners; Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley; Costa Mesa Mayor John Stephens and Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Kyle Paine, center, president of Community Development Partners, tours an...

    Kyle Paine, center, president of Community Development Partners, tours an apartment at a former Motel 6 converted into housing for the homeless with California Governor Gavin ɫ̳om in Costa Mesa on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024. It is part of the statexe2x80x99s Homekey project which transforms former office space, hotels, and other buildings into housing for those experiencing homelessness. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A former Motel 6, now the Mesa Vista Apartments, was...

    A former Motel 6, now the Mesa Vista Apartments, was converted to apartments for the homeless, in Costa Mesa on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024. California Governor Gavin ɫ̳om spoke during a news conference at the site about the statexe2x80x99s Homekey project which transforms former office space, hotels, and other buildings into housing for those experiencing homelessness. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Kyle Paine, left, president of Community Development Partners, tours a...

    Kyle Paine, left, president of Community Development Partners, tours a former Motel 6 converted into housing for the homeless with California Governor Gavin ɫ̳om, right, in Costa Mesa on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024. It is part of the statexe2x80x99s Homekey project which transforms former office space, hotels, and other buildings into housing for those experiencing homelessness. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Standing with local and state leaders, California Governor Gavin ɫ̳om,...

    Standing with local and state leaders, California Governor Gavin ɫ̳om, center, speaks during a news conference about the statexe2x80x99s Homekey project which transforms former office space, hotels, and other buildings into housing for those experiencing homelessness, at a former Motel 6 converted to apartments for the homeless in Costa Mesa on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Kyle Paine, left, president of Community Development Partners, speaks as...

    Kyle Paine, left, president of Community Development Partners, speaks as he tours an apartment at a former Motel 6 converted into housing for the homeless with California Governor Gavin ɫ̳om, right, in Costa Mesa on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024. It is part of the statexe2x80x99s Homekey project which transforms former office space, hotels, and other buildings into housing for those experiencing homelessness. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • California Governor Gavin ɫ̳om speaks during a news conference about...

    California Governor Gavin ɫ̳om speaks during a news conference about the statexe2x80x99s Homekey project which transforms former office space, hotels, and other buildings into housing for those experiencing homelessness, at a former Motel 6 converted to apartments for the homeless in Costa Mesa on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024. Standing behind ɫ̳om are from left: Kyle Paine, president of Community Development Partners; Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley; Costa Mesa Mayor John Stephens and Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • California Governor Gavin ɫ̳om speaks during a news conference about...

    California Governor Gavin ɫ̳om speaks during a news conference about the statexe2x80x99s Homekey project which transforms former office space, hotels, and other buildings into housing for those experiencing homelessness, at a former Motel 6 converted to apartments for the homeless in Costa Mesa on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024. Standing behind ɫ̳om are from left: Orange County Supervisor Vicente Sarmiento; Kyle Paine, president of Community Development Partners; Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley; Costa Mesa Mayor John Stephens; Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris and Richard Owens, advocate for veterans, affordable housing, and strategies to end homelessness. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Kyle Paine, left, president of Community Development Partners, speaks as...

    Kyle Paine, left, president of Community Development Partners, speaks as he tours an apartment at a former Motel 6 converted into housing for the homeless with California Governor Gavin ɫ̳om, right, in Costa Mesa on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024. It is part of the statexe2x80x99s Homekey project which transforms former office space, hotels, and other buildings into housing for those experiencing homelessness. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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“This is unprecedented in California’s history,” ɫ̳om said. “We’ve never invested at this scale, at this level. We’ve never invested with the kind of intentionality to address the crisis that persists, not just here in Orange County, but throughout the state of California, and increasingly all across the United States.”

The state created the program called Homekey three years ago during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Homekey is one way the state is trying to confront the homelessness crisis by funding conversions that come with a far lower price tag than building new housing. The money from the state is typically combined with other funding sources to buy the buildings and renovate them for people to live in.

ɫ̳om said the program had $3.5 billion in funding, but only a few million dollars remain after the state has backed 15,009 housing unit conversions, of which 9,000 are complete.

“This is the kind of momentum and scale that is required to address this crisis and to fundamentally make the dent that the taxpayers of California expect and deserve,” he said.

Proposition 1 would boost funding for Homekey by $2 billion, with more than half of that set aside for veterans. The proposition is part of a larger $6.3 billion bond that would require counties to spend more mental health service funding on housing and employment assistance.

The governor delivered his remarks in Costa Mesa at the site of a former Motel 6. The state last year gave Orange County $10 million to help fund converting the property’s 88 units into permanent supportive housing, which will have 30 units dedicated for formerly homeless veterans and 10 for people experiencing sever mental illness.

“These are some of the most vulnerable populations to serve,” said Kyle Paine, president of Community Development Partners.

The California Department of Housing and Community Development announced Thursday that six new projects will receive Homekey funding from the state, totaling $95 million that will help fund 396 homes. The projects are in Lassen County, Marin County, Santa Cruz County, Oakland, San Luis Obispo and San Bernardino.

San Bernardino is receiving $34 million to create 140 modular housing units for chronically homeless, The city is partnering with Lutheran Social Services of Southern California and Dignity Moves.

One of the benefits of Homekey, officials said Thursday, is that it removes blight in a city.

“Governor, you have to know, this has been a problem motel for many many years,” Fifth District Supervisor Katrina Foley said. “And now it is going to be a place of hope, a place for people to get housed, a place where people can be stabilized and have great lives here in California. “

Costa Mesa Mayor John Stephens said the project “is providing needed housing for veterans, for seniors and people who are at the edge of homelessness.”

California accounts for 49% of all people unsheltered in the United States, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Point-in-time numbers from 2023 show that at least 181,399 people in California are homeless.

On any given night in Los Angeles county, around .

Riverside County’s homeless population is 3,725, , and San Bernardino County’s was 4,195. Orange County’s last point-in-time count was completed in 2022, which found 5,718 people were homeless. Point-in-time counts are required every two years.

Homekey has funded 245 projects in the state, according to number released Thursday. State officials project more than 160,000 households will have been served over the life of the project as units are turned over.

Los Angeles County has bought 31 properties with Homekey funds. The 2,100 units so far support housing projects in places such as Carson, Baldwin Park and the Boyle Heights neighborhood in Los Angeles.

The state gave Riverside to buy five single-family homes that will create 25 units of housing for young people ages 18.

“Success leaves clues,” ɫ̳om said. “I’m not interested in funding failure. We are not interested in failing more efficiently when it comes to the issue of homelessness and the crisis on the street. We are about executing at scale and investing in best practices.”

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