Oakland receives $5.6 million to renovate affordable housing

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California Construction News staff writer

The City of Oakland has received $5.6 million of Homekey funding to rehabilitate the Kingdom Builders Transitional Housing program.

Acquired in 2021, Kingdom Builders Transitional Housing currently provides 34 units of transitional housing and wrap-around services for adults and youth who are formerly incarcerated and experiencing homelessness. Homekey funding will enable the project to make accessibility and other improvements to the building to ensure the facility remains available to serve our most vulnerable neighbors.

“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 rehabilitation of hotels, motels, vacant apartment buildings, manufactured homes, and other properties into housing.

“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 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 city’s determined 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 of State Homekey funds since 2020 to house Oaklanders experiencing homelessness. The city’s 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, housing &andcommunity development director.

The development team, Kingdom Builders Transitional Housing program, brings deep experience in service-enriched affordable and transitional housing, the city says in a statement.

The site is centrally located on International Boulevard in Oakland’s San Antonio district and is accessible to transit, grocery, and other service amenities.

“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.

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