Santa Cruz and Santa Clara receive $24.9 million to convert hotels to housing

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Pavilion Inn San Jose
The Pavilion Inn in San Jose (Google Street View image)

California Construction News staff writer

Santa Jose and Santa Clara were awarded $24.9 million to create 79 homes with a focus on homeless youth through Homekey.

Santa Clara County Housing Authority (SCCHA) and its partners were awarded a state Homekey program grant of $14.3 million for the purchase and renovation of the Pavilion Inn hotel located at 1280 North Fourth Street in San José.

Renovations will begin at the $16.25 million property immediately to create 43 interim and permanent housing units for transitional age youth and youth with young children who are experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness.

“We want to lift these young people up,” said Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, who also chairs the children, seniors and families committee. “They’re vulnerable from homelessness and hunger, and at great risk if we don’t support them. This is especially true for the substantial percentage of unhoused youth who have been through the foster care system.”

Three units will be set aside for on-site mentors, and there will be one on-site manager’s unit. Resident referrals will come from a variety of sources including the County’s Coordinated Entry System and Department of Children and Family Services.

It’s the fourth project in Santa Clara County and second in San José to receive Homekey program funding. San Jose has received funds to convert four hotels—Pavilion Inn, Residence Inn, Pacific Motor Inn and the Arena Hotel—into emergency housing.

“Our response to homelessness must continue to be nimble, especially for our youth,” said San José Mayor Sam Liccardo.

In addition to taking the lead on renovation activities, Jamboree Housing will coordinate property management and partner with nonprofit services provider Bill Wilson Center and the County to provide youth living at the Pavilion Inn an array of services including case management; behavioral and physical health resources; benefits and document assistance; life skills classes; social and recreational events; coordination of care; employment services; and housing search and retention services.

“This hotel conversion of Pavilion Inn is one such solution—helping to increase the countywide supportive housing pipeline by providing much-needed housing and services—especially for this vulnerable group of over 1,800 youth and young adults currently experiencing homelessness in the region, some of whom are parenting small children and most of whom are former foster youth.”

Construction is expected to be completed in Summer 2023.

More than 10,000 homeless housing units already been created by the $3.75 billion nation-leading program through the purchase of hotels and other buildings that are converted into housing.

“The awards announced today are a signal to our young people and families in need of assistance in these two cities that help is on the way,” Governor Newsom said. “Our commitment continues to be to use every tool available to us to get Californians of all ages the housing and services they need. And the program continues to lead the way with targeted investments and innovation.”

The State of California has approved a $1.4 billion plan to confront the state’s homelessness crisis will provide an estimated 55,000 new homeless housing units.

“Resources derived from Homekey will be used to maximize safe, permanent, supportive housing and on-site services for our local veterans, students and families who are unsheltered in Santa Cruz County,” said Senator John Laird. “Thank you to the Newsom Administration and all those who have led efforts to provide affordable housing solutions in our city and county government along with the passionate advocates who are determined to make Santa Cruz County affordable for all.”

About 80 percent of unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness in California are unsheltered, sleeping in cars, on sidewalks, or in places not meant for human habitation.

“The high population of unhoused youth and veterans is frankly unacceptable and it is our responsibility to provide them with proper stability and support,” said Assemblymember Mark Stone. “These new housing projects will help us to do just that. This is an important and proactive step in combatting the homeless crisis.”

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