Update on Homekey Palo Alto & Ways to Support the Project

Published on March 16, 2023


Homekey Palo Alto is a new modular interim housing shelter with the capacity to serve over 300 individuals annually with on-site support services. The project is being codeveloped by the City of Palo Alto and LifeMoves.  

Located at 1237 San Antonio Road in Palo Alto near the Palo Alto Baylands, Homekey Palo Alto will provide a dignified transitional step for unhoused residents on the path to stable housing. This project is made possible through a combination of State funding combined with local contributions from the Palo Alto Community Fund, Sobrato Philanthropies, Santa Clara County, and the City of Palo Alto. 

In winter 2022, staff was notified of both cost increases and construction timeline concerns. Since that time, the City and LifeMoves have been working together to define the project scope and better understand construction timelines and other items. 

A new informational report has been issued highlighting project status and next steps.

Increase in Project Costs

To address economic uncertainty, inflation, and supply chain concerns which caused increased project costs, LifeMoves brought in a new contractor with its own in-house architect. Devcon, the new architect, identified cost saving measures such as deferring some items pending additional funding and reconfiguring space. Additional items identified include:

  • Removing a fire loop road
  • Creating two separate entrances  
  • Setting buildings back from San Antonio Road

After these cost savings and others, the remaining capital funding gap is approximately $6 million dollars. This $6 million does not include permitting fees and it does not consider “putting back in” any items removed as part of cost savings measures. City Council may want to add some removed items back into the project (namely approximately $2 million to fund a different type of fencing, sunshade sails, and solar and EV chargers).

New Anticipated Timeline

Palo Alto Homekey’s schedule has been impacted by cost increases as noted above, leading to a change in architect and contractor. This triggered the creation of a new schedule, site plan, and drawings. Additionally, the project’s timeline is affected by long lead times for critical items (e.g., electrical switchgear, a key component in an electrical power system). The new anticipated timeline has construction on Palo Alto Homekey beginning in summer 2023 and completing by the first quarter of 2025.  

Homekey Schedule.png

Next Steps & Ways to Support the Project

In coming months, staff will return to Council with detailed plan sets and the Palo Alto Homekey lease. Staff will also share ways the community can support the project—including attending a groundbreaking ceremony later this year.  

Community members who wish to provide financial support to the project may do so at www.lifemoves.org/gift. While current contributions benefit all LifeMoves projects, staff are working with LifeMoves to develop an opportunity for Palo-Alto-specific donations. 

More Project Resources

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