California housing officials on Thursday announced $2.75 billion for cities, counties and nonprofits to create new homeless housing — vastly expanding a program that already has provided more than 1,600 residential units in the Bay Area.

Thursday’s expansion more than triples the size of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Homekey program, which launched last year to purchase hotels, apartments and other buildings, and convert them into long-term housing for homeless residents. In 2020, the program doled out $846 million and created 6,029 units of housing throughout the state.

The $2.75 billion will be doled out over two years, with $1.45 billion available immediately. About $200 million of that initial allocation is reserved for Bay Area projects.

“California is moving with unprecedented speed to house people experiencing homelessness, through Homekey,” Newsom wrote in a news release. “We are going all in on solutions that work – tackling the homelessness crisis head-on with a constructive, compassionate approach and a focus on serving those with the most acute behavioral health needs. This investment will allow us to build on Homekey’s groundbreaking success – creating more housing, faster and with accountability and efficiency.”

More than a quarter of the units bankrolled through Homekey so far are in the nine-county Bay Area. The state funded 20 projects from Sonoma down to Santa Clara counties. The projects range from the repurposed 76-room SureStay Hotel by Best Western in San Jose, to a converted college dormitory in Oakland, to modular housing built by LifeMoves in Mountain View.

Not all Bay Area projects that applied last year were approved, as there wasn’t enough funding. Local officials and nonprofits are likely to line up again this time around for another chance. Nonprofit LifeMoves, which runs multiple homeless shelters on the peninsula, already is working with a number of cities on potential Homekey applications, said CEO Aubrey Merriman. That includes Palo Alto, which is exploring working with the nonprofit to build a modular housing site similar to the Mountain View project.

Last year’s Homekey effort marked the largest single addition of permanent housing in the state’s history, according to state housing officials. The average cost per unit for those projects was $147,974.

“This administration has set a goal of functionally ending family homelessness in five years, and that’s why investments in programs like Homekey are so critical,” Gustavo Velasquez, director of the California Department of Housing and Community Development, wrote in a news release. “Our team is moving quickly to get the ball rolling on a diverse array of projects, and we look forward to partnering with local governments and stakeholders to make this next round of Homekey even more successful.”