Racing to Shelter the Homeless in the Time of COVID

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Providing hotels and other innovative housing solutions for California’s homeless population is key to stopping the spread of COVID-19, according to Jason Elliot, chief advisor to Governor Newsom. The Bay Area Council Homelessness Committee this week (April 27) was honored to welcome Elliot for a briefing on Project Room Key, a collaboration between the state of California and FEMA to secure 12,000 hotel rooms for people experiencing homelessness.

Elliott also called on the Bay Area Council members to provide projections on potential impacts of COVID-19 on rental markets statewide, and to evaluate what the cost-implications could be for building housing products targeting the homeless. If you or your company has expertise in this field, please contact Policy Associate Anna Sciaruto.

In addition to Project Room Key, the committee discussed the growing homeless population in the region, voters’ demand for meaningful action, and novel solutions such as increased production of modular homes and accessory dwelling units. Over 70 Council members participated, showing continued strong interest in solving this crucial social, economic, and public health crisis. Special thanks to guest speakers Jason Elliott and Ruth Bernstein, and to Committee Co-Chairs Sarah Krevans, Tomiquia Moss, Gary Cohen, Clint Reilly, and Robert Schiff.

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