San Mateo County to purchase two hotels to house homeless

in Community

San Mateo County is set to purchase two hotels — the Pacific Inn in Redwood City and the TownePlace Suites Hotel in Redwood Shores — in order to provide longterm housing solutions for people experiencing homelessness, County officials announced Thursday.

On Thursday, the Board of Supervisors voted to accept more than $33 million in state Project Homekey funding to purchase the hotels, which total 170 rooms.

The Pacific Inn “will provide service-enriched interim housing to individuals experiencing homelessness and are highly vulnerable to COVID-19,” while the TownePlace Suites Hotel will provide permanent housing for qualifying seniors.

The state’s Project Homekey evolved from Project Roomkey, which used hotels to house vulnerable homeless individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Project Homekey provides funds to counties that purchase and rehabilitate hotels, motels and vacant apartment buildings to support unsheltered populations.

“Owning the facilities will reduce the County’s sheltering costs over time and provides a better opportunity for the coordinated service system to work with clients and move them into permanent housing,” County officials said.

Bayfront Station, a hotel property that transitioned under Project Roomkey to house and support unsheltered residents early in the pandemic, will be phased out later this year.

“We are grateful to the governor and our local legislative delegation in Sacramento who lobbied successfully for the County to receive these additional funds to help our unsheltered residents,” said Board of Supervisors President Warren Slocum. “Ending homelessness was already a top priority for the Board when COVID-19 hit and the pandemic only magnified the need to provide permanent housing and shelter opportunities for those who will accept our help.”

Photo of Pacific Inn in Redwood City via Google Maps