In a groundbreaking announcement on Tuesday, October 10, 2023, Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled a historic $32,076,607 grant for Ventura during the third round of Project Homekey funding. This substantial allocation is earmarked for the Housing Authority of the City of San Buenaventura (HACSB), in partnership with the County of Ventura, to facilitate the transformation of a hotel into a permanent supportive housing facility.
“This is the largest Homekey award in the history of both our City and County and will substantially impact our community,” said Ventura Mayor Joe Schroeder. “The City Council is committed to addressing our housing crisis while prioritizing the well-being and future of our residents. This achievement marks a significant stride in our continuous efforts to combat the homelessness crisis that our community faces.”
The $32 million Project Homekey grant is earmarked for acquiring and renovating La Quinta Inn at 5818 Valentine Road in Ventura, strategically situated near public transit, grocery stores, healthcare facilities, and recreational amenities. This funding, granted through the State’s Project Homekey initiative, will transform the 142-room hotel into 134 permanent supportive housing apartments designed to serve households experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness.
“The rise in the number of homeless individuals, particularly those without shelter, underscores the need for further efforts to address and prevent homelessness comprehensively,” said Jeff Lambert, Chief Executive Officer of the Housing Authority.
The total project cost, encompassing acquisition and renovation expenses, is estimated at over $50 million. The Housing Authority of the City of San Buenaventura led the acquisition and rehabilitation of the facility, providing a sponsor loan of $1 million. The City of Ventura secured over $1.5 million from a California Department of Housing and Community Development fee on real estate documents to help purchase the hotel. The city also committed nearly $1.4 million in HOME-American Rescue Plan funding. The County of Ventura also contributed a $5.5 million grant for the La Quinta Inn project.
Based on the 2023 Point-in-Time Count, the County of Ventura has 2,441 people experiencing homelessness, marking a 9% increase compared to the 2022 Point-in-Time Count. During the same period, the overall number of homeless individuals in Ventura decreased by 10%, from 713 to 644.
It also facilitates the conversion of commercial properties and other existing buildings into permanent or interim housing for those in need.
The development will comprise 134 studio apartments alongside office and community spaces; all centered around a flexible courtyard that serves as a communal gathering place. To ensure the success and well-being of residents, the Valentine Road housing project will be staffed by four property managers, including two residing on-site, six case managers, and maintenance personnel.
The Housing Authority anticipates finalizing the property’s acquisition by early 2024, with the first occupants expected to be welcomed by the spring of the same year.
Bill Ayub, City Manager, City of Ventura – “About a year ago, employees from the City, Housing Authority, and County gathered in a small room at City Hall with a shared vision of a project that could significantly improve the lives of those in need of support. Witnessing this vision becoming a reality is exhilarating for all of us and a source of excitement for our entire community.”