California Shows Us All How Not To Spend Federal Virus Funds
Earlier this year a stimulus package was passed to help recover our economy and help Americans get through this pandemic. States were given money to help combat the Corona. California received $550 million and has decided to use $100 million to house the homeless. Now where housing the homeless is not a bad thing they are using the money to buy out struggling hotels and motels that are in need of aid not a buyout.
"As the coronavirus crisis stretches on and many hotels remain shuttered, some antsy owners are becoming more open to the idea of selling rather than hanging on to see how long they can survive the crippled economy. In hyper-expensive San Francisco, where plummeting tourism has led to 40% of the hotels temporarily closing, some owners might feel more confident than those in other regions in recovering financially once the pandemic eases.
But it doesn’t mean they’re not thinking about selling, officials said. San Francisco homeless policy leaders have said since early summer that they are hoping to buy two or more hotels for conversion, and some leading players in the city’s Homekey process say several properties are in play — including one that sent in an application to the state Friday.
The challenge, they say, is finding buildings that don’t need prohibitively expensive updating — in-unit bathrooms, disabled access and the like — whose owners are willing to sell at a fair price. All of that is no small ask, considering that while rents have dipped significantly during the pandemic, real estate prices have not.
Then there’s the follow-up cost. Overseeing a supportive housing operation costs about $30,000 a year — per person — so a modest, 50-unit complex alone would require $1.5 million a year."
But if that doesn't work San Francisco Supervisor Hillary Ronen has a far worse solution.
“If we can’t find willing sellers, we should consider addressing this major problem by eminent domain,” Ronen said. “Homekey is a solution, but we need much more like it. We have to do everything we can.”
So business owners are struggling because of lockdowns and this pandemic but instead of getting aid from the state, they are getting low-balled into selling their businesses. Sounds about right for Cali. But hey at least they have decided to start working on their booming homeless population.