Modesto has its second grant from Project Homekey, the state effort to provide permanent housing with services for people who are homeless or at risk of being homeless.
The City Council on Tuesday accepted a $1.7 million grant. It is for a newly constructed seven-unit apartment building next to the Department of Motor Vehicles’ Modesto office called the James Street Apartments.
Modesto is working with Stanislaus Equity Partners, a nonprofit community development corporation, the Stanislaus County Affordable Housing Corp., aka STANCO, and county Behavioral Health and Recovery Services on the affordable housing project.
Stanislaus Equity Partners will own the apartment building, STANCO will manage it, and BHRS clients will live in it. The building consists of one one-bedroom apartment, four two-bedroom apartments and two three-bedroom apartments.
“This project will serve some of the most vulnerable homeless individuals in our community who deal with serious mental health issues and substance abuse with permanent housing and intensive case management,” said Jessica Hill, the city’s community development manager, in a news release issued in late April when the state awarded the grant.
Hill said in an interview that the apartment building could be fully occupied by the end of June.
BHRS Director Ruben Imperial said in an email the building could provide housing for as many as 17 people, including family members of BHRS clients.
This is Modesto’s second Project Homekey grant. The state awarded the city $3.9 million in March, which the council accepted in April, for a project that converts a vacant Ninth Street office building in downtown into apartments for people ages 18 to 25.
The project is a partnership between Modesto and the Center for Human Services, which provides services for young people. CHS will own the building, and STANCO will manage it. The building will consist of five one-bedroom apartments and nine studio apartments.
Hill said in the interview that the office building renovation is on track to be completed in November. She said she expects residents to start moving in by early 2023.
The funding for these two projects came from Project Homekey’s second round. (Modesto did not apply for funding in the first round.)
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in September that California had $1.45 billion for round two, including grants to local governments to purchase and convert hotels, motels, vacant apartment buildings and other properties into permanent housing.
Hill said funding from the second round has been fully awarded or is close to being fully awarded. But she said the city expects a third round in the state’s next budget, which starts July 1. She said Modesto continues to look at potential projects.
The need remains great.
For instance, a city report states Behavioral Health and Recovery Services has provided housing for 206 households and has about 300 households on its wait list for housing. “Once a household is placed with permanent supportive housing, 98% of the households stay housed,” according to the report.