FRESNO, CA – Early this week, Governor Gavin Newsom announced Fresno Housing will receive over $7.6 million as part of the second round of awards for Homekey. Homekey is an innovative $600 million program providing funding to several cities, counties and housing authorities across California to purchase and rehabilitate underutilized hotels, motels, vacant apartment buildings and other properties. The program provides immediate housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, and people most at risk from COVID-19.
Fresno Housing has been awarded funds to initiate an ambitious vision that will begin the transformation of the Parkway Drive Corridor in Fresno, California. Parkway Drive Corridor is currently a densely developed strip of underutilized motels in an area of concentrated poverty. Individuals and families in this area who are experiencing or are at risk of homelessness, are at an extreme risk during the pandemic. “This ambitious plan to revitalize Parkway Drive Corridor will also benefit the surrounding neighborhood and support the individuals and children currently living in unhealthy conditions and who are especially vulnerable during this time,” said Preston Prince, CEO of Fresno Housing. “We have been working with community partners for a meaningful way to contribute, and in July, along came this once-in-a-generation opportunity from the State to accelerate and catalyze our collective vision for the neighborhood. We are so grateful for this opportunity.”
Fresno Housing submitted several applications for various hotels along the Parkway Drive Corridor. Homekey funds announced September 21, 2020, will be used to acquire and operate one of these hotels in order to house and support individuals in nearly 100 units. Because the transaction is not finalized, the specific site is not named, but will also undergo a permanent transformation into high quality affordable housing as part of continued efforts to revitalize the nearby Jane Addams neighborhood. Transformational plans include future improvements that will support families in the area currently calling a motel home, adding to the affordable housing stock, bringing much needed services and developing the first of many properties into vibrant mixed income community residents can be proud to call home.
The Homekey award is key to our visionary effort with several community partners, including the City of Fresno. According to Council President Miguel Arias “I have been working for years to improve the quality of life for families and individuals living on motel drive, which was unfortunately allowed to become the epicenter of human and drug trafficking. This significant investment follows our City’s adoption of my proposal to eliminate the slumlord conditions in some of these facilities. Together, the City and community partners like Fresno Housing and the State of California will finally engage in transforming this area towards safe and affordable housing for generations to come.”
Fresno Mayor Lee Brand added, “We are pleased to support Fresno Housing and this transformational work. The City’s goal is to safeguard the health of our homeless population by getting as many off the street as possible and into shelter.” To learn more about the Homekey funded projects, please visit bcsh.ca.gov/homekey