Oakland awarded $15.5 million to convert Imperial Inn to housing

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California Construction News staff writer

The City of Oakland has been awarded $15.5 million in State of California Homekey funds to acquire and convert the Imperial Inn hotel into housing.

Construction is expected be completed in 12 months and create 47 units of permanent supportive housing in Oakland’s District 1.

“Homekey funding is an important part of our strategy to end homelessness in Oakland and across the region,” said Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao. “This new grant award brings Oakland to a total of 323 total housing units through seven awarded Homekey projects to date, meaning new homes for 323 of our most vulnerable residents.”

This is the city’s seventh Homekey award, bringing the funding total to $75 million since 2020 to build 323 deeply affordable units for the unhoused. Oakland’s other awarded Homekey projects include:

  • Clifton Hall, a former dormitory that offers 63 units for seniors and families;
  • Inn at Temescal, a repurposed motel with 21 units for veterans;
  • Project Reclamation, a series of scattered single-family homes throughout Oakland for families and individuals;
  • Piedmont Place, a repurposed motel with 44 units;
  • Inn by the Coliseum, a repurposed motel with 36 units; and
  • Kingdom Builders Transitional Housing, a repurposed motel with 34 transitional units for homeless youth and formerly incarcerated residents.

“It has been greatly rewarding to see the growth and impact of Homekey on California’s most vulnerable residents,” said State HCD Director Gustavo Velasquez in an announcement. “To me, the homes funded through Homekey represent more than just buildings. They represent real people exiting homelessness more quickly, and the opportunity for housing stability to greatly improve their quality of life.”

Approximately $400 million remains to be awarded from the current round of funding. The City of Oakland has submitted four additional applications in the current round; State HCD will continue reviewing applications, and grants will be announced on a rolling basis until all funds are exhausted.

“Homekey is a transformative resource to create new permanent supportive housing at record speeds, and BACS is honored to again partner with the City of Oakland and MPI to quickly develop this desperately needed supportive housing for vulnerable Oaklanders experiencing homelessness,” said Jamie Almanza, executive director of BACS San Diego.

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