Sacramento’s Rodeway Inn on Howe Avenue could be the region’s next motel property converted into permanent homeless housing.
The City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved an application asking Governor Gavin Newsom’s administration for $20.4 million to renovate the motel through the state’s Homekey initiative.
“This is a great program,” Council member Rick Jennings said. “This is a difference maker. This one changes the agenda for those who need it the most.”
If approved by the state, the project would create 69 studio apartments, each with a kitchenette. Security, case management and job training would also be provided on-site, according to a city staff report.
“The hope would be for many of these folks to get some good-paying jobs,” and eventually transition to new housing, said Erin Johansen, executive director of HOPE Cooperative, the housing project’s developer.
Johansen said job training would take place through a partnership between the Power Inn Alliance, a local business group, and Goodwill.
The housing plans also call for adding a community room and kitchen, along with gathering areas and new fencing. In addition, 30 of the housing units would be set aside for residents in need of mental health services.
The Sacramento region has applied for and opened several Homekey projects over the past two years, providing housing for hundreds of people who had been experiencing homelessness.
Last month, the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors approved applications asking the state for $37 million in Homekey money to purchase and renovate the Arden Star Hotel on Howe Avenue and the Super 8 on Madison Avenue near Foothill Farms. If approved, the projects are expected to create housing for about 300 people as early as next summer.
Last October, dozens of families experiencing homelessness, including some with young children, moved into a permanent supportive housing community in Natomas called Vista Nueva. The city received Homekey funds to convert the former Staybridge Suites hotel into residences for 200 people.
In January 2022, city officials announced plans to convert the Best Western hotel on H Street in downtown into 92 units of permanent homeless housing. Officials had hoped to finish construction by last fall, but the housing has yet to open and might not open until this summer, according to the project’s builder.
State officials are expected to announce a new round of Homekey funding this summer, with $736 million available for projects statewide. The program requires local governments to renovate and open properties within 12 months of receiving Homekey money.
The initiative has created more than 12,700 homes through 210 projects across California since its start in 2020, according to the Newsom administration.
Contact CapRadio reporter Chris Nichols at [email protected]
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