The Bella Vista Inn could soon become a haven for Santa Clara County’s homeless residents.
The project, which is being partially funded by a $3 million grant from Santa Clara County’s 2016 Measure A affordable housing bond, also received a $22 million state grant, the Mercury News reported. The project is the latest hotel conversion funded by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Homekey initiative.
“Tackling the region’s homelessness crisis has always been one of our top priorities,” County Executive Jeff Smith said in a news release. “This funding, along with the County’s matching funds approved by voters, gets us closer to our mission of providing every resident the opportunity for safe and stable housing.”
Construction on the hotel is set to begin in March and be completed by December and will yield 67 units of interim housing.
Project Homekey launched last year with the goal of helping cities, counties and nonprofits buy hotels, apartments and other buildings to turn them into housing for citizens without homes.
In 2020, the program granted $846 million to create more than 6,000 units. Then Newsom committed to donating another $2.75 billion to the initiative — $1.45 billion of which will be granted in 2022. Of that $1.45 billion, the first grant of $70 million was awarded to San Mateo County for two projects.
In addition to providing low-income housing, the Santa Clara project will also have case management and supportive services for residents. There is also potential for a new building with 120 units of permanent supportive housing that could replace the hotel in the future.
“The Bella Vista Inn project really showcases the essence of Homekey,” Gustavo Velásquez, director of the California Department of Housing and Community Development, said. “This motel conversion, with a whole suite of supportive services to get people back on their feet, is a huge opportunity to give community members in Santa Clara County a fresh start.”
Santa Clara County has also applied for Homekey funds for eight additional projects that could yield a total of 800 residential units.
[Mercury] — Victoria Pruitt