The motel conversion model has been in existence for nearly 15 years and has proven effective in Los Angeles, an epicenter of homelessness in our country. The greatest affirmation of the model came with the 2020 project Homekey program put into operation by Governor Newsom in CA. Homekey is a state-funded program that provides funding to cities and counties for motel conversions to quickly and cost effectively provide urgently needed Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) for individuals experiencing homelessness. In late 2020, Homekey was rolled out across the state and in that year alone yielded over 6,000 new units of housing using the motel conversion model.


Motel conversions offer many other benefits to the local community including:

  • Motels are typically in desirable locations with access to public transportation, shopping, and amenities
  • Since many are in commercial districts, there is usually less community resistance to developing a PSH project on the site.
  • Blighted motels are often seen as a nuisance to the community, so the project removes that nuisance.
  • Motels are usually set up as an inward facing community, which lends itself to creating a sense of community for the incoming tenants.
  • There is a growing political will to expedite motel conversions and increase the number of PSH developments.
  • Most cities have a plethora of available motels enabling a plentiful supply of prospective sites.
  • Motels don’t have “tenants”, so there are no relocation issues with these projects.
  • Case managers are located on site allowing them to work exclusively with the tenants.


Step Up in San Bernardino

The All Star Inn Homekey motel conversion is located in San Bernardino

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