Garcetti authorizes up front funding to extend Project Roomkey leases

Mayor Eric Garcetti announced he has authorized up-front funding to extend Los Angeles' leases for Project Roomkey hotels through Sept. 30.

Project Roomkey was started in March 2020 as state and county officials sought to find short-term shelters for homeless residents over 65 or with serious health conditions -- hoping to keep them safe from the spread of the coronavirus.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency reimbursed 75% of those costs under the Trump administration, but in late January, President Joe Biden issued
an executive order to fully reimburse the cost.

"(The Los Angles Homeless Services Authority) and service provider staff will continue to work tirelessly to get our current hotel guests into permanent housing, to move new guests into those rooms and to take every single empty room and fill them as soon as possible,'' Garcetti said during his COVID-19 briefing.

The city will begin filling 300 empty rooms Thursday, Garcetti said. Half the rooms will be set aside for people living on Skid Row, and LAHSA will prioritize immediate placement for Black women, seniors, and people living in homeless communities in Echo Park, according to Garcetti.

Garcetti claimed that only 2%-4% of people leaving Project Roomkey find themselves back on the street, while the vast majority receive "some sort
of solution,'' he said.

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