Launched by the State of California in August 2020, Homekey is a program that provides local jurisdictions with funding to acquire and/or develop properties to house people experiencing homelessness who have been affected by the pandemic. It has been called the fastest, largest, most cost-effective addition of housing in the state’s history.
With the first round of funding — Homekey 1.0 — Los Angeles County purchased 10 hotels and motels currently serving as homes or shelters for about 2,000 people considered particularly vulnerable to complications from COVID-19. By mid-2023, all of those units will have been converted into permanent supportive housing.
With Homekey 2.0, the County has been awarded funding to purchase 12 additional properties for conversion into housing.
Project Roomkey was a first-in-the-nation effort to provide hotel and motel rooms to elderly and medically fragile individuals and couples experiencing homelessness who were considered at high risk of complications if infected with COVID-19.
Launched in April 2020, Project Roomkey was a collaborative effort among the federal and state governments, Los Angeles County, and the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) that secured 4,000 rooms in 37 hotels and motels, enabling the latter to remain in business despite the pandemic-induced economic downturn.
As Project Roomkey sites close, participants are matched to rental subsidies and connected to permanent housing as well as a range of supportive services. If none are immediately available, participants are placed in other temporary housing until they can be permanently housed.