Terner Center Report Evaluates California’s Homekey Program’s Successes and Challenges

Date Published: 
April 20th, 2022

In March 2022, the University of California at Berkeley’s Terner Center for Housing Innovation released a report on California’s Homekey program, which allocated funding for public agencies to buy underused properties, namely hotels and motels, and convert them into housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. The program was launched in July 2020 with $800 million in funds to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and expanded in July 2021 with an additional $2.75 billion. The Terner Center report analyzes the impact of the program, featuring seven case studies of local implementations and interviews with 46 program practitioners statewide.

While the report outlines best practices for utilizing the program and finds that “Homekey is making significant progress on providing housing for the state’s unsheltered homeless population, and ... serves as an innovative model for how to bring units online faster and more cost-effectively than has traditionally been the case for affordable housing,” it also acknowledges the programs challenges – most significantly, those “related to the complex reality of converting and operating [permanent supportive housing] in high-cost markets and the high levels of need among individuals experiencing homelessness.” The report outlines lessons learned from Homekey and offers several suggestions for how to improve the program and its future implementation.

Read the Report 

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