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City of Berkley will house 23 homeless people in Super 8 motels at $2.5 million a year

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(The Center Square) – The city of Berkeley is planning to spend $12.5 million over the next five years to house homeless people in Super 8 motels rooms.

The plan that was approved Tuesday at the City Council meeting would put at least 23 homeless people into a 23-room Super 8 motel at the cost of about $2.5 million per year. The program would start in August 2023 and run through July 2028.

The city said its plan is to enter into a master lease with the property owner of the Super 8 for the entire property. The city will hire the nonprofit service provider Insight Housing to operate the facility.

“There will be no major renovations/remodeling as we are not converting this motel to permanent housing, but simply using the existing infrastructure as a setting for a shelter program – a model that proved effective throughout California during the pandemic and which the City is currently using successfully at other locations,” Peter Radu, assistant to the Berkeley’s city manager, stated in an email to The Center Square.

The state of California’s Encampment Resolution Funding would pay for $4.9 million of the cost. The rest of the funding would come from the city’s Measure P funds. Berkeley voters passed Measure P in November 2018 that raises about $10 million a year from property taxes to pay for homeless issues.

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