Project Roomkey, the state and county program that uses vacant hotel rooms to house high-risk, homeless seniors during the pandemic, will expand following the Biden administration’s commitment to fund 100 percent of its costs, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced earlier this week.The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, will now reimburse cities for 100 percent of the program’s costs. The agency previously covered 75 percent of the $100 million program’s costs.The first phase of Project Roomkey wasn’t as successful as its organizers had hoped. In L.A. County, only about 30 percent of available rooms were filled. Garcetti wants to ratchet that number up with FEMA’s backing.“I’ve instructed my team and the City Council has instructed our city government together to, with LAHSA, bring hundreds more Angelenos indoors by using those empty hotel and motel rooms across the Southland, and to find folks who are the most vulnerable and put them in shelter,” he said in a press conference.Valley hotels participating in Project Roomkey include the Sportsmen’s Lodge Hotel in Studio City, the Airtel Plaza Hotel in Van Nuys, a Motel 6 in Newbury Park, a Best Western in Ventura and Vagabond Inns in Ventura, Oxnard and Glendale, among others. As of last June, L.A. County had 35 hotels and motels participating in the program.
Project Roomkey to Expand with FEMA Funding