Stockton Awarded $4.3 Million to Convert Motel Into Permanent Homeless Housing

September 28, 2020 at 9:01 pm

Relax Inn

The Relax Inn on Wilson Way, which the city plans to convert into 39 units of permanent housing for homeless or chronically homeless individuals.

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On Monday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the city of Stockton received a $4.3 million grant from the state to convert a motel into 39 units of permanent housing for individuals who are homeless or are chronically at risk of being so. The funding is part of the California Department of Housing and Community Development-run Project Homekey, which provides funding to rehabilitate existing buildings into long-term housing.

The city will work with the Central Valley Low Income Housing Corporation and Stocktonians Taking Action to Neutralize Drugs (STAND) to convert the Relax Inn on Wilson Way, near Aspire Langston Hughes Academy. Residents are expected to begin moving as early as later this year and earlier next year, according to San Joaquin Continuum of Care executive director Jonathan Mendelson.

Mendelson also said that individuals with histories of substance abuse, physical disabilities, or mental health issues would be prioritized. These people are often considered the most difficult to permanently accommodate. To mitigate this, those living at Wilson Way units will have access to support services to keep them housed.

The 39 units of housing are a substantial step towards the city’s goal of developing at least 200 additional units for those most difficult to house. The target was approved this summer as part of a plan to address the lack of permanent housing.

“This is something that everyone should be excited about.”, said Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs. “It’s a huge infusion of permanent supportive housing in our community that gets us closer to the strategic plan goals.”

The Central Valley Low Income Housing Corporation, which is partnering with the city, has already had some success in keeping chronically homeless individuals sheltered. According to the Stockton Record, 98.5% of the roughly 200 individuals in the corporation’s existing housing projects over the past year have stayed off the streets.

STAND, the other organization, has also done something similar in rehabilitation blighted homes in the Airport Way/8th Street area in southeast Stockton. The group also offers counseling to first-time home buyers.

The grant Stockton received was part of a $137 million announcement of Project Homekey funding awards to local governments across the state on Monday. Homekey is a continuation of Project Roomkey, which sought to secure hotel rooms for homeless individuals, especially those at high risk of contracting the coronavirus.

Newsom also requested on Monday that the Joint Legislative Budget Committee approve an additional $200 million of coronavirus relief funds for approximately 20 new Homekey projects. The program has given out almost $450 million in grants for 3,351 units since its inception in July, for an average cost per unit of $134,000.

Stockton applied for the grant on August 13. The city was part of the third wave of grant awards announced by Newsom, the first on September 16.