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Sacramento City Council Applies For $35M In Homekey Funds To Buy Hotel For Homeless Families

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - A hotel in north Natomas will soon become a shelter for the homeless.

On Tuesday afternoon, Sacramento city council members agreed to submit an application for $35 million in funding for the new Vista Nueva project.

But why such a big price tag? There are a few things driving the price, most of which are real estate-related. But Mayor Pro Tem Angelique Ashby says the difference this will make for families in our region is worth every penny.

"This project will be the city's first shelter specifically addressing the needs of families experiencing homelessness," said Ashby.

The old Staybridge Suites hotel is preparing to serve a new purpose.

"It has 110 rooms and we're going to turn 100 of the rooms into permanent supportive housing," she said. "And then 10 of the rooms will be emergency shelters."

Sacramento Mayor Pro Tem Angelique Ashby helped spearhead the project to help meet a growing community need.

"There are hundreds of children sleeping on our streets every night," said Ashby.

About 300 people could be housed here and have access to a long list of social services. But the $35 million needed to get things running through the Homekey program, which is federally funded. It still needs state approval.

The city is confident approval will come by the end of the year.

But why the hefty price tag?

"The hefty price comes for two reasons: one we're buying the hotel....and two the hotel is in Natomas."As they say in real estate: location, location, location."

The hotel will need some renovation work as well, including offices and a playground. But Ashby maintains it's a small price to pay to make sure families in need aren't forgotten.

"This is putting people into housing with wrap-around services...and I think intuitively, folks know that that has a better chance at actually helping," she said.

As for when people could potentially start to move in? Ashby says it could be as early as March.

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