The County of Marin is looking for local property owners who might be interested in selling an existing building or parcel so it can be converted to support programs to address homelessness.
Project Homekey is part of the state’s response to protecting Californians experiencing homelessness who are at high risk for serious illness and are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The County anticipates that the state will provide a second round of grant funds to counties to purchase and/or rehabilitate properties to be used as interim and permanent housing.
The County of Marin successfully pursued Project Homekey funding in 2020 and now has two locations – existing buildings in Corte Madera and San Rafael – targeted to provide permanent supportive housing. In anticipation of a second round of Project Homekey funding, the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued a request for information for property owners or operators potentially interested selling a property to the County and/or a development partner. Appropriate properties include (but are not limited to): hotel/motel properties, certain commercial properties, mobile home/RV parks, and other properties that could be used for interim or permanent housing.
The County and a public/private coalition called Opening Doors Marin recently hosted a series of 10 informational sessions to solicit feedback on possible project criteria and answer questions. The County will continue to work closely with towns, cities, and residents as the application process proceeds.
The release of information, along with a question form and submission information, are available on the HHS website. For priority consideration, submissions are requested by May 14.
Homelessness is a serious public health issue nationwide resulting in trauma, exacerbated chronic illness and reduced life expectancy for those who experience it. In Marin, more than a 1,000 people were experiencing homelessness at the time of HHS’ last full homeless census in January 2019. In a county with scare housing resources, high housing costs and limited rental options, people with limited incomes or disabilities often struggle to access and maintain adequate housing without assistance. The pandemic has exacerbated many of those realities and further disconnected vulnerable residents from the support they need.
In an effort to combat the growing homelessness crisis, the State of California launched the $750 million Project Homekey in July 2020 with the aim of helping local communities rapidly acquire properties to rapidly house people experiencing homelessness during the public health emergency. More information is available at www.marincounty.org/homekey.