FEMA will permanently fund CA’s Project Roomkey


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KRON) — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will permanently fund California’s Project Roomkey, Governor Gavin Newsom announced Friday.

FEMA authorized reimbursement for non-congregate shelter amid the COVID-19 pandemic, including California’s Project Roomkey.

Project Roomkey makes hotels available for those in need. It has sheltered more than 23,000 homeless individuals using 16,000 hotel and motel rooms in 55 counties and three tribal nation areas.

With the announcement, California will no longer have to submit requests every 30 days to reauthorize reimbursement for the project.

“This action serves as acknowledgement of the importance of efforts like Project Roomkey in protecting the most vulnerable Californians and validates all of your efforts to implement this first-in-the-nation program,” Governor Newsom wrote in a letter to Project Roomkey partners.

California has made $512 million in emergency funding available to support local governments to expand Project Roomkey and transition those to permanent housing.

The new policy also applies to other shelter programs the state launched during the pandemic, including: the California Healthcare Workers Program, which provides hotel rooms to doctors, nurses and other frontline health care workers, Housing for the Harvest, which provides temporary spaces for agricultural and farmworkers who test positive or were exposed to the virus, and Project Hope, which provides hotel accommodations to people released from state prison who need to quarantine or isolate due to COVID-19 exposure or infection.

Local leaders weighed in on the news.

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