In California’s long-standing homelessness crisis, motel conversions complete with services are an effective solution as permanent housing for those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Often, hotels converted to apartments can be more cost-effective than new construction, and the renovation and retrofitting process can be six to 12 months quicker than new construction.
Other times, transforming these underutilized or blighted structures requires a long-term view of the entitlement process, local policy change, unique development expertise, a working knowledge of the latest funding programs – or a combination thereof. Yet, one thing remains the same: permanent housing is what ends homelessness.
Motel conversions are not homeless shelters
Unlike transitional housing or shelters, Permanent Supportive Housing is a successful long-term model that combines affordable housing with vital onsite supportive services – such as vocational training and clinical offerings – for homeless individuals and families.
It’s proven to permanently keep the majority of residents who enter this type of housing from ever becoming homeless again. For Jamboree, communities that utilize this approach see at least a 90% success rate in avoiding a return to homelessness.
Jamboree has proven expertise, geographic reach, comprehensive resources, and unique development history to partner with cities and counties to convert motels into Permanent Supportive Housing with the enthusiastic support of local community service organizations.
Yet, this is still considered a relatively groundbreaking solution. Only since the late 2000s has Permanent Supportive Housing gained momentum as a national best practice to address chronic homelessness. Since 2010, Jamboree has heavily researched and invested in this model as an economical way to address California’s growing homelessness crisis, given that it also creates revitalization opportunities for local communities. The cost savings of proactive services cannot be overstated.
What are the cost benefits of Permanent Supportive Housing?
Using Orange County as an example, the annual cost of services for a chronically homeless person on the street is $100,759. Meanwhile, permanently housing that same person and providing supportive services is only $51,587. That’s nearly 50% cheaper. This approach costs less to do more to end homelessness!
How are some of these motel conversions being funded right now?
In June 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced Homekey, a robust extension of California’s successful Project Roomkey program. Launched in March 2020 as part of the state's COVID-19 response, using CARES Act funding and FEMA cost-sharing, Project Roomkey is a coordinated effort by state and local agencies alongside community partners to secure 15,000 hotel and motel rooms throughout California to ensure a safe and supported isolation and quarantine process for homeless individuals and families during the pandemic.
Shortly after announcing Homekey, Governor Newsom made $600 million readily available in funding. Of that, $550 million was provided to cities and counties through the state’s direct allocation of federal Coronavirus Aid Relief Funds, and $50 million was provided by the state's general fund to supplement acquisition and support initial operations of these motel conversions.
Per Homekey’s timeline, developers only had 90 days to utilize awarded funds by the end of 2020 and then they only had 90 to 100 days to reach certain state occupancy rates. This timeline is much faster than the typical development process, and that’s where Jamboree comes in.
Having closed $55.3 million in Homekey funding, Jamboree worked quickly to create 260+ permanent studio homes for people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness throughout California. In fact, Jamboree has the exact type of expertise that the California Department of Housing and Community Development needs for Homekey to succeed in the long term.
What makes Jamboree such an effective partner for motel conversions?
For more than 30 years, Jamboree has been a statewide leader in adapting existing structures to increase a local area’s housing supply. In 2012, Jamboree’s long history of bringing Permanent Supportive Housing from concept to completion began to include hotels and motels. To date, this now includes 470+ studios at six former motel and hotel properties throughout California.
Alongside site renovations, Jamboree maintains a proven community outreach program that addresses the needs of the community at the outset of a hotel or motel conversion and then continues to work with local community service organizations for ongoing operations and service collaboratives. This approach is a win for cities, counties, community service organizations, and residents alike.
What can Jamboree do to help cities and counties execute motel conversions?
Throughout California, cities and counties want and need to save both time and money in their efforts to figure out permanent solutions to their region’s homelessness crisis, all while addressing valid concerns of the community and avoiding outdated codes and restrictions that hamper efforts. It’s a lot to solve!
Given its unique development history, Jamboree knows exactly how to drive motel conversions from concept to completion, alongside extensive community outreach. Jamboree’s informed team of experts knows how to dispel inaccurate myths about who the homeless are and how their plight affects communities.
Jamboree can deliver Permanent Supportive Housing, providing individuals and families with a home rather than a shelter, which improves the community’s overall health. Jamboree has the experience to get these motel conversions done properly and in a timely manner, securing a successful long-term solution that adheres to the requirements necessitated by various sources of state, federal, and local funding.
Do you represent a city or a county in California? Are you interested in converting a motel into Permanent Supportive Housing for homeless individuals and families? Contact Roger Kinoshita, Jamboree's Senior Director of Business Development, at 949-263-8676 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What makes Jamboree the right developer for community service organizations?
As a developer, Jamboree is the trifecta you’re looking for – affinity for ending homelessness, affiliation to cities and counties, and an advocate for conversions using the latest funding sources. To address your community’s homelessness crisis, you need a developer that knows how to convert motels into Permanent Supportive Housing efficiently, effectively, and in a timely manner.
Do you represent a community service organization in California? Are you interested in seeing a local motel converted into Permanent Supportive Housing for homeless individuals and families? Contact Roger Kinoshita, Jamboree's Senior Director of Business Development, at 949-263-8676 or email@example.com.
See how Jamboree has converted motels throughout California!
Jamboree’s growing portfolio of motel conversions include: