The State of California allocated approximately $600 million to Project Homekey, an effort to purchase and rehabilitate hotels, motels and other possible housing sites to provide long-term housing for people experiencing homelessness, those at risk of serious illness from COVID-19, or people with minimal income who are at risk of becoming homeless. On August 27, 2020, Mariposa County was awarded up to $4.1 million to purchase the Yosemite Inn, a 27-room hotel that has been used for housing individuals experiencing homelessness and those at risk of serious illness from COVID-19 since April of this year.
Following negotiations and the completion of due diligence, including necessary inspections and appraisals, the Board of Supervisors considered a resolution of intention to purchase the Yosemite Inn on October 27. The Board was scheduled to have final deliberations regarding the purchase on November 24, but a minor error in the public noticing required by the State Government Code has caused a delay that was beyond what was acceptable to HCD. The County has discussed this matter with HCD and agreed to withdraw to allow funds to be used by other jurisdictions at this time.
“We are very disappointed that we were not able to take advantage of these funds and this opportunity to develop additional housing in Mariposa County,” stated District One Supervisor Rosemarie Smallcombe. “Housing continues to be a top priority for us and we hope to be able to work with HCD in the future to develop the units we need in Mariposa.”
Housing, and particularly workforce housing, is prioritized in the Mariposa County Strategic Plan and the General Plan Housing Element. The latter document, in particular, calls for adequate zoning to accommodate the construction of 78 new units in the next five years for low, very low and extremely low income households earning less than $52,400. In addition, the Housing Element calls for 90 units in collaboration with Yosemite National Park and its concessionaire for full-time and seasonal staff.
The Board of Supervisors has directed staff to work with multiple projects that would add workforce housing and recently purchased property to accommodate additional housing, recreation, fire resiliency and economic development. Work also continues on zoning updates that will make it easier to develop housing in Mariposa County.
Source: Mariposa County