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Two Salinas Project Homekey sites sold to banks, city attorney confirms

SALINAS, Calif. (KION-TV)- On Thursday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that an estimated $200 million in grant money will go to multiple California cities to combat homelessness.

However, two Project Homekey sites in Salinas that were in limbo have now been sold to banks according to City of Salinas Attorney Christopher A Callahan.

One person living in Salinas did not want to go on-camera said that neighbors have watched the development of the Project Homekey site on Work Street.

People who live near Work Street shared they were hesitant about the site but saw the need to house the homeless.

But, after state dollars were allegedly embezzled by a former Chief Financial Officer of the developer of the project, people say the city is not cleared from being held accountable on delays for this project.

"However it has been two or three years and all we have seen is a hotel that has not been cared for, contractors who worked for this business go unpaid and it is taking the neighborhood down," A resident who lives near the Work Street housing location.

The location on Work Street was sold in foreclosure this past week and and Callahan confirmed to KION that a bank owns the site.

The city did say that people currently living there will not be evicted and have because of federal Housing and Urban Development laws.

"I think some of the non-profit solutions are part of this accountability where there's going to be a much deeper investigation and ultimately local government," Salinas City Councilman Steve McShane said. "State government were both going to be held accountable and it is not easy and I think what we're saying it's messy."

Newsom announced the formation of an accountability Task Force.

"It is about accountability and having that accountability at the local level," Newsom said.

The Homekey sites in Salinas might have failed but homeless advocate organizations say it should not overshadow the progress and attempt to tackle the crisis.

"Since 2017, our point in tome county has actually reduced a total of 28 percent and I know that some people feel like it's getting worse but in our county it is actually not," County of Monterey Homeless Services Director Roxanne Wilson said. "We have lots of proof that people are getting housed."

Callihan says the third property which is the Sanborn Inn is up for sale at the end of April.

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Veronica Macias

Veronica Macias is an evening anchor at KION News Channel 5/46.


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