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Project Homekey: San Mateo Supes Approve Purchasing 2 Redwood City Hotels For Unsheltered Residents

REDWOOD CITY (CBS SF) – San Mateo County's Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved the purchase of two hotel properties in Redwood City to provide shelter to unhoused residents via the state's Project Homekey initiative.

During a special meeting held over Zoom, the supervisors approved resolutions to purchase of the Pacific Inn at 2610 El Camino Real and the TownePlace Suites at 1000 Twin Dolphin Drive in the Redwood Shores neighborhood.

According to a county statement, the TownPlace suites consists of 95 rooms that will be occupied by seniors 62 and older with extremely low incomes. Meanwhile, the Pacific Inn consists of more than 70 rooms that will be occupied to those experiencing homelessness.

Project Homekey is a statewide project that purchases hotels and other buildings to transform them into long-term housing for unsheltered people, especially those who are vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The county received more than $33 million in funding from the state to purchase the two hotel properties and provide a total of 170 rooms.

According to Gov. Gavin Newsom's office, more than $835 million has been awarded for 93 projects statewide, totaling 6,055 units.

While Project Homekey has been one of the state's most aggressive actions towards ending homelessness, the program has raised the ire of some local governments and residents who fear a loss of local control on land use.

In Milpitas, a group of residents have filed a temporary restraining order and a lawsuit trying to halt progress on turning the Extended Stay America Hotel on Hillview Court into a Project Homekey property.

"Why didn't the city notify us?" Janice Breaux of Milpitas told KPIX 5.

"I think my chief concern right now is the lack of public engagement from our community for this project," explained Milpitas Mayor Rich Tran.

The proposed Redwood City hotel purchases prompted a small protest last week.

© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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