South Lake Tahoe awarded $10 million in state funds to fight homelessness |

South Lake Tahoe awarded $10 million in state funds to fight homelessness

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — South Lake Tahoe has been awarded state funding to turn four lodging properties into long-term homeless housing making them one of the first communities in California to receive the highly sought after aid.

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday announced the first round awards for “Project Homekey” a $600 million program for cities and counties to purchase and convert hotels, motels, vacant apartment buildings and other properties into permanent homeless housing. The governor awarded $76.5 million during the first round on Wednesday with South Lake Tahoe receiving $9,576,000.

The Department of Housing and Community Development administers Homekey, which includes 10 projects in seven communities totaling 579 units, said a press release.

The funding for the South Shore will support four to be determined project sites.

The Tahoe Coalition for the Homeless will own and manage the properties as interim housing, occupying as soon as possible to ensure homeless residents are sheltered and supported during the pandemic and winter. 

The team will pursue tax credit conversion and final closeout will occur by June 2021, said the HCD in a press release.

The purchases must be completed by Dec. 30.

“These four projects will help get the Tahoe Basin to functional zero homelessness,” said a spokesperson for HCD.

Functional zero is a milestone that indicates a community has solved homelessness for its population. Just 13 communities in the country have reached the milestone and more may be on their way under the new program.

The area’s homeless count in 2019 had 110 people, 78% were unsheltered and 53% were chronically homeless.

El Dorado County has no year-round shelter or permanent supportive housing, said the release.

“We are realizing our dream of helping local jurisdictions acquire thousands of motel rooms and convert them into housing for individuals and families experiencing homelessness,” said Gov. Newsom in the release. “Homekey is the first effort of its kind in the nation and is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to protect the most vulnerable people in our state.”

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