Council Uses Project Homekey to Buy Eight Motels, including Two on the Westside

LOS ANGELES – Using a new state program to respond to the homelessness crisis, the City Council today acted to purchase eight motels across the city — including two on the Westside — to help unhoused Angelenos move rapidly off the streets. 

In a unanimous vote, the Council authorized the use of Project Homekey funds to purchase the buildings, including the 44-room Super 8 on Airport Boulevard in Westchester and the 33-room Ramada Inn on Washington Boulevard in Marina del Rey. The other motels are in the San Fernando Valley, the Harbor area, northeast Los Angeles, and South Los Angeles. In total, today’s action will add 701 units.

“Project Homekey is one of the smart, quick and nimble responses to homelessness that I have been advocating for,” said Councilmember Mike Bonin. “We can’t wait years for the construction of new units. We need to get people off the streets immediately — and purchasing motels and hotels is one of the fastest and most efficient ways we can do that.”

Project Homekey is a program funded by the State of California that provides for the acquisition of hotels and motels to be used for homeless housing. These units will provide interim housing, laundry services, storage, food services, and case management to individuals experiencing homelessness, with priority for services going to the local homeless community within the vicinity of the project. So far, including today’s actions, the City and the Housing Authority of Los Angeles have purchased 1451 units, and continue to look for additional purchases.

The Westside units will be used to house the most vulnerable on the Westside, including those living in areas subject to the focus of U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter. The rooms at the Ramada and the Super 8 add to 48 units at Venice’s Cadillac Hotel, which is participating with the County of Los Angeles in Project Roomkey, a program that leases motels and hotels. That program was set to expire in January, but the county has extended it to March.

“Each of these beds represents hope for an individual who is living in an encampment and sleeping on the street,” added Bonin. “But this just a drop in the bucket of what we need if we are going to actually address the magnitude of the crisis on our streets. I am eager to work with any hotel or motel owner in any and every neighborhood in my district to rapidly expand this program.” 

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority is contracting with service providers to operate and provide programming at the sites. The People Concern (TPC) will manage the former Super 8, while People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) will operate the former Ramada. 

“Today’s vote is a welcome step for the unhoused community in West LA, who have been disproportionately affected by both COVID-19 and the resulting economic downturn,” said Jennifer Hark Dietz, PATH Deputy CEO and Executive Director. “Project Homekey has demonstrated promising results for people experiencing homelessness, and we’re grateful for Councilman Bonin’s leadership so PATH can build on that progress.”

“We need to embrace all possible housing solutions in order to alleviate the suffering on our streets and provide homes for our most vulnerable neighbors; the acquisition of these properties for Project Homekey is a step in that direction and an important resource for our community,” said John Maceri, CEO, The People Concern. “The People Concern will be providing comprehensive supportive services on-site to empower our neighbors to maintain their housing and thrive in their community.” 

Converting hotels and motels into housing for people experiencing homelessness is one of ten strategies Bonin has proposed to help end homelesness in Los Angeles. You can find out more about the “10 Things” Bonin has proposed at https://11thdistrict.com/10things/

Any hotel or motel owners interested in participating in Project Homekey should contact Bonin’s Deputy Chief of Staff Krista Kline at [email protected].  

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