Homekey: What you need to know!


HCD held a webinar on Friday, 7/24 to discuss Homekey.  Inspired by Project Roomkey, the Homekey program is the next phase in California’s response to help protect the state’s most vulnerable residents who are experiencing homelessness, at high risk for serious illness, and being impacted by COVID-19.  Having attended the webinar, we have identified the key points of Homekey that you need to know!

  • PURPOSE OF PROGRAM: Provide funding to local jurisdictions to purchase and rehabilitate hotels, motels, vacant apartment buildings, and other buildings to transform into housing for people (1) experiencing homeless or who are at risk of experiencing homelessness and (2) impacted by COVID-19. 

  • EXPENDITURE DEADLINE: Expenditures of the federal funds must be made (not just committed) by December 30, 2020

  • AMOUNT OF AVAILABLE FUNDING: $600M ($550M of federal funds and $50M of state funds).

  • PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY: The lead on the application must be a public agency (city, county, housing authority, or federally recognized tribal government). However, the applicant can partner with a for-profit or non-profit organization (or a public agency in another jurisdiction). Note that a public agency does NOT need to own the property.

  • MAXIMUM GRANT AMOUNTS:  Baseline – $100K per hotel/motel room door.

    • Additional Amount: For Tier 1 Projects (projects that can be occupied within 90 days and lead to permanent housing solutions), the amount can be up to $350K per door, but for the amount above $100K, there must be a 1:1 match..

  • REQUIRED PRE-APPLICATION CONSULTATION: HCD requires that lead applicants meet with HCD for a pre-application consultation to discuss the proposed project and let them know what technical assistance is needed.

  • TIMING: Key dates include:

    • August 13: Close of Priority Application Period (during which there are geographic set-asides).

    • August 14 – September 29: Geographic set-asides go away, but application period remains open.

    • Award Announcements: Given that federal expenditures must be made by December 30th, HCD will inform awardees of their awards ASAP.

  • HCD ASSISTANCE: HCD is eager to help potential applicants and answer questions! For up-to-date resources, including answers to FAQs, visit https://www.hcd.ca.gov/grants-funding/active-funding/homekey.shtml. Additionally, you can email HCD for further assistance at homekey@hcd.ca.gov.

For any questions you might have regarding Homekey or how RSG can help you identify solutions to address your local jurisdiction’s affordable housing needs, please contact Senior Associate, Dominique Clark, at dclark@rsgsolutions.com or Senior Analyst, Rosa Romero, at rromero@rsgsolutions.com.