City News

City News

Posted on: November 8, 2023

Union City Awarded Homekey Grant Funding for Scattered Site Project

Governor Gavin Newsom has announced the second batch of Round 3 Homekey Program grants, totaling a $156.4 million investment, which will fund 12 projects creating 556 new affordable homes across six counties. The Governor’s official announcement can be read here

Of the projects selected, the City of Union City, in partnership with the City of Hayward and Bay Area Community Services (BACS), is being awarded funding in an amount up to $9,677,000 for a scattered site project. The State of California’s Homekey Program is the Administration’s initiative to help jurisdictions rapidly expand the availability of housing for individuals and families experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness.   

“The opportunity that the Homekey award provides the City with is a valuable tool in the fight against homelessness,” said Mayor Carol Dutra-Vernaci. “As affordable housing options are becoming scarcer throughout the City and Alameda County, partnerships like the ones with the City of Hayward, BACS, and the State are vital in allowing us to be creative in our problem solving and expand housing opportunities for our most vulnerable populations.” 

The goal of the scattered site project is to acquire homes and convert them to supportive shared housing. The project application anticipates the Homekey grant will help fund the acquisition of up to seven homes, one of which would be in Union City. The acquisition of a single-family residence will accommodate a minimum of five rooms or “doors” for unhoused individuals. Operating costs will also be covered by the Homekey grant for the first few years. After that, BACS and the co-applicant cities will also request operating funds from the Alameda County HOME Consortium and continue to explore other subsidies to ensure the longevity of the project. 

“BACS shows up for the community, and we innovate. Our housing reclaims neighborhoods by creating and preserving affordable housing where people want to stay,” said Jamie Almanza, MBA, CEO of BACS and BACS Housing. “This major partnership from the state empowers individuals, families, and communities to reclaim their sense of belonging and rebuilding lives impacted by gentrification, structural racism, and deep poverty.” 

The Homekey Program is administered through the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). Grant funding is available to local public entities including cities, counties, tribes, and housing authorities to develop a broad range of housing types including hotels, motels, hostels, single-family homes, multifamily apartments, adult residential facilities, and modular housing, and to convert commercial properties and other existing buildings to permanent or interim housing. 

“It has been greatly rewarding to see the growth and impact of Homekey on California’s most vulnerable residents,” said HCD Director Gustavo Velasquez in a recent press release. “To me, the 14,000 homes funded through Homekey represent more than just buildings. They represent real people exiting homelessness more quickly, and the opportunity for housing stability to greatly improve their quality of life.” 


Economic & Community Development Department
(510) 471-3232 (Press 5)