California Construction News staff writer
The City of Oakland has received $5.6 million Homekey funding to rehabilitate the Kingdom Builders Transitional Housing program.
Acquired in 2021, the site includes 34 units of transitional housing and wrap-around services for adults and youth who are formerly incarcerated and experiencing homelessness. Homekey funding will be used for improvements to the building.
“Homekey funding is one of the most critical tools in Oakland’s multi-faceted approach to end homelessness in our streets and across in our region,” Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said.
Homekey was launched at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to facilitate the purchase and/or rehabilitation of hotels, motels, vacant apartment buildings, manufactured homes, and other properties, and convert them into homes for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
“Project Homekey is specifically and explicitly to help those who are unhoused have a roof over their head permanently. Here in Oakland 500 units have been funded through Project Homekey and a good amount of it for those who are formerly incarcerated. So many of our formerly incarcerated are unhoused. That’s why programs like this are so essential,” said State Senator Nancy Skinner.
This project is part of the approach to address homelessness by innovatively leveraging city dollars to maximize state and federal investment to create more deeply affordable units with supportive services.
With this latest award, the City of Oakland has secured a total of $55.5 million since 2020 to house Oaklanders experiencing homelessness. Six Homekey projects will provide a total of 276 deeply affordable units for the unhoused (222 permanent and 54 transitional).
“We are excited to partner with community leaders like Pastor Jennings and the Kingdom Builders to bring much needed housing and services to Oakland residents,” said Shola Olatoye, the city’s Housing and Community Development director.
The development team, Kingdom Builders Transitional Housing program, brings deep experience in service-enriched affordable and transitional housing.
“We are honored to be part of this important program that addresses the critical housing needs of our residents,” said Pastor LJ Jennings of Kingdom Builders.
The site is centrally located on International Boulevard in Oakland’s San Antonio district and is accessible to transit, grocery, and other service amenities.