Project Homekey Information

This webpage was updated on January 8, 2021. For updates from the Working Group, please scroll down to the "Working Group Updates" section of this webpage. Note that Working Group updates are listed with the most recent at the top of that section.

The County of Marin has approved the purchase of the motel formerly known as the America’s Best Value Inn (1591 Casa Buena Drive) with grant funding through Project Homekey and other County housing program funds for the purpose of providing 18 units of permanent supportive housing for individuals experiencing homelessness. While this was not a Town project, and the Town did not have jurisdiction over the sale of the privately owned property, Town staff  continues to facilitate public discussions related to Project Homekey and the transfer of ownership of the Homekey project at 1591 Casa Buena Drive. 

What is Homekey?

Building on the success of Project Roomkey, Homekey is the next phase in the state’s response to protecting Californians experiencing homelessness who are at high risk for serious illness and are impacted by COVID-19. Administered by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), $600 million in grant funding has been made available to local public entities, including cities, counties, or other local public entities, including housing authorities or federally recognized tribal governments within California to purchase and rehabilitate housing, including hotels, motels, vacant apartment buildings, and other buildings and convert them into interim or permanent, long-term housing. 

On October 9, 2020, Governor Newsom announced that Marin County received grant funding through Homekey. As part of the County’s motel program transition plan, the County is in negotiations to purchase three properties which could provide interim housing in the short term and transition to permanent supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness as early as 2021. 

Background on the Corte Madera Homekey Project

The Marin County Board of Supervisors first heard this item at their Board of Supervisor’s meeting on October 20th, and voted to adopt a resolution issuing a notice of intent to purchase the motel site at 1591 Casa Buena Drive.  County staff brought this item back to the Board of Supervisors at their November 10th meeting for consideration of the proposed purchase and sale agreement, with an escrow closure date of November 18, 2020.  The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the agreement and recognized the need to work with the Town of Corte Madera and its residents, through a recently established working group to develop a strategic plan for what success looks like for the Town of Corte Madera. View the Meeting agenda for the November 10, 2020 meeting (see item 8), Staff Report,  Attachments. Guidelines for how to participate in future Board of Supervisors meetings can be found here. As more information regarding the County of Marin's Project Homekey program becomes available it can be found on the County's website  here .

At its Monday, November 2nd Corte Madera Town Council meeting, Town Councilmembers and staff, with input from many Corte Madera community members, outlined a framework of necessary conditions and actions that would be prerequisites to the County of Marin’s proposal to successfully develop an interim and permanent supportive housing project for homeless individuals at the proposed site.  Following that meeting, the draft framework was presented to County representatives to evaluate community input and address our collective concerns. 

A joint news release from the County of Marin Health and Human Services and the Town of Corte Madera was published on Friday, November 6th. The news release outlined the framework of collaboration and action that the Town and the County have agreed upon, and also includes a fact sheet that defines the phases in which the property would be converted to housing for people experiencing homelessness.  

Creation of Working Group:

Recognizing the immediate need to create a working group to engage in future discussion and carefully monitor the progress of this project, the Town invited members of our community, residents and business owners, to apply to be part of this working group comprised of County representatives, Catholic Charities, and Town officials and staff charged with:  

  • Providing ongoing, direct information and communication to Town residents as additional project details become available;
  • Provide a forum for our community to raise issues directly to appropriate government officials;
  • Collectively work toward actionable solutions to issues and concerns raised;
  • Ensure transparency and accountability throughout project inception and transitional periods;
  • Set and monitor measurable goals and objectives for individuals, the Town, and the County to assess whether the project is successfully achieving policy objectives over time and whether program changes are necessary;
  • Evaluate all options and work towards an acceptable agreement with all parties in the weeks to come.

On November 18th, 2020, Town Officials interviewed a collection of Corte Madera residents who had expressed interest in participating in the Project Home Key Working Group.  Corte Madera Town leaders selected five Corte Madera residents to join the working group to facilitate thoughtful conversations about Project Homekey and the upcoming transition of ownership. 

The interview panel selected the following community members for appointment to the Project Homekey Working Group: Glen Barras, Scott Garland, Leila Mongan, Barbara Snyder, and Jim Lavine who will serve as an alternate.

More About the Working Group

The Town created a Working Group to engage in ongoing discussions and provide feedback and support to this project.  The Working Group will be comprised of a member from the Marin County Supervisor’s, county staff, town staff, a town councilmember, a group of selected Corte Madera residents and staff from Catholic Charities (the organization who will manage the initial phase of the project).  

Town Officials interviewed a collection of Corte Madera residents who had expressed interest in participating in the Working Group.  The interview panel selected the following community members for appointment to the Project Homekey Working Group:  Glen Barras, Scott Garland, Leila Mongan, Barbara Snyder, and Jim Lavine who will serve as an alternate.

 The Town introduces our resident members as follows:

Glen Barras

Glen Barras has called Marin home for 35 years and has owned a home in Corte Madera for the last 20 years with his wife, Aileen McGoldrick, including the last ten years in the Meadowsweet area. Their two kids, Spencer and Gabby, both attend Redwood High School. Glen has been active in the community by way of coaching (Twin Cities Little League, CYO, Hall Middle School Basketball and Redwood Mountain Bike Team) and has donated time at Bread & Roses, currently serves on Redwood High Racial Justice Task Force and other local organizations in the community. Glen spent his youth growing up in Idaho and made his way out here for college at UC Davis.

Scott Garland

Scott is a former biotech executive and currently sits on several biotech and non-profit boards. He and his wife Kate have lived in the Chapman Park neighborhood of Corte Madera since 2005 and have three boys.  Scott is originally from Southern California but after college made the wise choice to move to the Bay Area.

Leila Mongan

Leila is a mom of a fourth-grader and a kindergartener who attend Neil Cummins Elementary School.  A former lawyer, she is originally from the Seattle area.  Leila and her husband Mike, a Marin native, have lived in Madera Gardens since 2010.   

Barbara Snyder

Barbara works for SPARK, the Larkspur-Corte Madera Schools Foundation, and volunteers for several community nonprofit organizations. Barbara is from New York but has lived in the Bay Area for 30 years. She and her husband Charlie, a Marin native, have two sons and have lived in Mariner Cove since 2000.

Jim Lavine (alternate) 

Jim and his family have lived in the Meadowsweet neighborhood since 2013.  He and his wife have a son who is currently a college freshman.   Jim is a technology executive, originally from the East Coast, but a California resident for over 25 years, and a Marin resident since 2004. 

Working Group UpdatesWorking Group Update 1/8/2021:

On Monday, January 4, 2021, the Town received a request for a follow-up inspection for the construction and remodel project as the project is nearing completion. Corte Madera building inspectors conducted an inspection on Tuesday, January 5, 2021.  Inspectors learned the project is moving along and is nearing completion, with much of the remaining work related to accessibility.  It is anticipated that remaining work could be completed by the end of January.  Once the work is complete an occupancy permit will be provided by the Town allowing residential occupancy of the site.  As previously noted, the County will place residents in the project who have been vetted through their Coordinated Entry System.

More information related to Marin County’s Coordinated Entry System can be found on the County’s website.  The following links from the County’s website provide specific information related to the Coordinated Entry System, and includes their specific policies and procedures associated with Coordinated Entry. 

On November 17, 2020, the County of Marin approved a professional service agreement with Catholic Charities to operate their interim housing for Project Homekey at the Corte Madera location.  The agreement contains detailed information related to the identified scope of services, general program requirements, confidentiality, reporting, monitoring and compliance, and a complete fiscal budget including 24 hour staffing. You can view the contract by clicking here

The Project Homekey Working Group has already met, and is actively working on metrics for success, exterior redesign options, community communications, and public service opportunities. The Working Group will provide regular updates as information becomes available.  In our next update, we intend to announce the completion of work, the issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy, and narrowed timeframe for move in.  

Once we have more information to share, we look forward to hosting informational sessions held over Zoom so that residents can ask questions and learn more about the status of the project. We encourage our community members to sign up to be notified when this webpage is updated so that you can receive information as it becomes available. 

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Working Group Update 12/18/2020:

The Working Group met on December 16, 2020.  The group is working on creating committees to facilitate work on specific issues related to the project, including: (1) Communications; (2) Success metrics; (3) Exterior improvements; and (4) Community engagement/volunteerism.

Renovations are continuing on the property, including improvements related to sprinklers, ADA compliance, and the parking lot. We are informed that the first residents will move in no earlier than mid-January 2021.  

Want to help?

The Working Group will be coordinating the creation of “welcome bags” for the residents who will be moving into the property.  Many of these people have very few possessions and will be arriving to a new home very close to the holidays.  We would like our first act as neighbors to be welcome them and help them feel like they are an important part of our community.  The Working Group is seeking to identify community members who are interested in shopping for items, or donating money to this effort.  If you would like to help, please email: homekey@tcmmail.org.  

Continuing Updates

The Working Group will provide regular updates on this website and in the newsletter.  Once we have more information to share, we also anticipate hosting informational sessions held over Zoom so residents can ask questions and learn more about the status of the project. We encourage our community members to sign up to be notified when this webpage is updated so that you will receive information as it becomes available. 

Questions? Comments? Suggestions?

The Corte Madera representatives on the Working Group are here to represent your interests.  Please email homekey@tcmmail.org provide any comments or questions you may have as this project continues.   

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Working Group Update 12/11/2020:

Corte Madera’s resident group members met on December 2, 2020, and the full Working Group is scheduled to meet on December 16, 2020.  In addition to the residents named above, the full Working Group includes the following participants:  

  • Andrew Hening, Facilitator- Opening Doors Marin;
  • Ashley Hart McIntyre, JD – Homeless Policy Analyst, Marin County Department of Health and Human Services;
  • Lorenzo G. Cordova- Office of Marin County’s 4th District Supervisor Dennis Rodoni;
  • Fred Casissa- Councilmember, Town of Corte Madera;
  • Adam Wolff, AICP – Planning & Building Director, Town of Corte Madera;
  • Rob Strahan, Program Director and Erick Brown, Director of Client Services, both with Catholic Charities

Current Status of the Property

Escrow on the sale of the property from the hotel owners to the County closed on November 30, 2020.   The sellers are presently completing construction that was required under the terms of sale, including improvements related to sprinklers, ADA compliance, and the parking lot. 

Move-in Dates

Once the improvements are complete, the first residents may move in.  Originally, the State required the project to be 50% occupied within 30 days of November 30; however, given the status of the renovations,  the State may provide some limited flexibility regarding this deadline.  We do not yet know how many residents will move in at first, what their specific move-in dates will be, or when all 18 units will be occupied, as these dates depend upon the completion of the construction (see above).  The County is working with Catholic Charities to identify the individuals who will eventually move into the housing.

Other Important Information Related to the Homekey Project

Written Public Comment Received to Date (This is a PDF of all written comments received via email merged into one document)

Prior public meetings and information regarding the proposal can be viewed here:

News articles on Project Homekey

  • November 30, 2020: CalMatters.org: Can Gavin Newsom use the pandemic to beat back homelessness?
  • November 6, 2020: Marin Voice: Corte Madera hotel-to-housing concerns could have been avoided
  • November 5, 2020: Corte Madera seeks leverage on county homeless project
  • October 20, 2020: Corte Madera residents vent over hotel-to-housing plan

Stay Informed: