An Oxnard property is under consideration for Governor Gavin Newsom’s Project HomeKey funding, the next phase in the State’s COVID-19 response to protect homeless Californians. Project HomeKey is backed by the State’s $1.3 billion budget to acquire hotel properties for homeless people. To achieve this goal, the State must use $600 million of CARES Act funding before it runs out at the end of the year.
There is now a limited window of opportunity to potentially receive $9.7 million of Federal and State money to purchase the Oxnard Vagabond Inn to help tackle the local homeless crisis.
Project HomeKey evolved from the State’s Project RoomKey, a COVID-19 emergency program which placed homeless residents in hotels during the pandemic. The Oxnard Vagabond Inn was one of several properties in the County serving 450 people through Project RoomKey during the months of April – July.
When Project RoomKey ended, the State announced that competitive funding would be available to local governments to acquire hotels, motels and vacant apartment buildings for temporary housing and ultimate conversion to permanent supportive housing in response to the homeless crisis. The County reached out to interested cities to jointly select Community Development Partners (CDP) and Mercy House (MH) as the developers/operators for a local project.
Within a two-week period, Oxnard identified several potential hotel properties, but only the Vagabond Inn responded positively as a potential property for Project HomeKey and supported County of Ventura and CDP/MH’s application in advance of the State’s deadline in August.
Oxnard Project HomeKey Funding
Through the City’s proposal to the County and the State, the Vagabond Inn would be a private purchase by CDP and operated by Mercy House.
The City is hosting its first virtual community neighborhood meeting on Wednesday, September 2 at 6 p.m. to discuss the proposed acquisition and rehabilitation of the Vagabond Inn and its conversion into permanent supportive housing. To RSVP visit http://bit.ly/oxnardprojecthomekey. A second meeting will be held at a later date.
Community members and residents with questions or comments about Project HomeKey should contact Emilio Ramirez, Oxnard Housing Director, at Emilio.Ramirez@Oxnard.org