Lassen Supervisors Face Challenges Over Homekey Housing Project

SHARE NOW

During Tuesday meeting, Supervisor Tom Neely of District 3 clarified his stance on the Homekey project, a collaboration with Behavioral Health and ColWest Investments at 506 Hospital Lane. He emphasizes that last summer’s grant funding approval request was intended solely for the grant application, not for the board to greenlight project progression.

The Homekey project plans to transform the old hospital into a 15-unit housing complex, with ten units dedicated to youth at risk of homelessness. The remaining five units would cater to a more general at-risk population, potentially including veterans.

Concerns from neighbors, including Diamond View Middle School, revolve around safety. Grace Poor from Lassen’s Housing and Grants Division assures safeguards like on-site management, 24-hour surveillance, lighting, and locked access. Background checks will also be mandatory.

Supervisors face a dilemma as ColWest invests funds, anticipating the award of 3 million dollars from the state. The tight 15-month timeline for full occupancy began in December, with a completion deadline in March 2025. Administrative hurdles include awaiting the Statement of Agreement, a state-required MOU.

Despite progress, supervisors consider halting the project. The board plans to hold a special evening meeting in late February to engage with the community and address concerns from students, parents, and school staff. They also requested crime data on affordable housing and sought clarity on property ownership, which is currently believed to be held by an external trust that acquired it through a tax sale.

For further details, the Homekey project update PowerPoint is available on the county’s website under the Housing and Grants Documents tab.