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League weekly COVID-19 update: Oct. 22-28

October 28, 2020
After months of advocacy efforts by a joint coalition of the League, California State Association of Counties, California Restaurant Association, and California Travel Association, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order on Oct. 28, granting our request for a process by the California Department of Transportation to issue temporary encroachment permits enabling commercial activities in the state highway right-of-way. 
This order will support businesses located along state highways to expand their outdoor dining options onto sidewalks and parking areas, expanding on a safe opportunity for diners to enjoy a meal and help support local businesses struggling with the economic impacts of COVID-19.
Washington, Oregon, and Nevada joined the state’s COVID-19 Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, which will independently review the safety and efficacy of any vaccine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for distribution. The workgroup consists of nationally acclaimed scientists with expertise in immunization and public health.
On Oct. 23, the Governor announced the Joint Legislative Budget Committee’s approval to use an additional $200 million from Coronavirus Relief Funding for Homekey. This brings the total funding available for Homekey to more than $800 million, continuing California’s program to purchase and rehabilitate housing for people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness.
Additionally, as part of the $200 million approved for Homekey use, the Governor announced $81.4 million for the sixth round of Homekey. Cities selected in the sixth round of funding include Oakland with $17.5 million for two projects totaling 103 units, and San Francisco with $29.1 million to convert a 130-room property to permanent housing.
To date, more than $709 million has been awarded to 45 applicants and 78 projects totaling 5,068 units. The average per-unit cost to Homekey is $139,000 — well below the average cost in California to build new housing units. The additional funding will allow the state to clear most of the Homekey waitlist with two more award portions to local jurisdictions, including the sixth round that was just released.
State updates For more information

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