CVV News l February 22, 2023
City Manager Stephanie Dietz announced that Merced has been awarded more than $31 million in funding from the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) in the first round of Multifamily Finance Super Notice of Funding Availability (Super NOFA) awards.
This award will provide funding to support construction of affordable housing projects to offer approximately 264 new multifamily homes for individuals and families.
Bella Vista – A 108-unit project at 1808 Parsons Avenue. Bella Vista will offer 1–4-bedroom units with an onsite manager and will be available to individuals and families with incomes equal to or less than 60 percent of Area Median Income (AMI). Visionary Home Builders of Stockton is the affordable housing developer. https://visionaryhomebuilders.org/
The project consists of $25 million of HCD funding, $5.2 million of City matched funds, $28.5 million in tax credits, and $1.6 million in a private equity loan for a total project cost of $60.5 million.
Devonwood Apartments – A 156-unit project on Devonwood Drive. The complex will offer 123 units for individuals and families and 31 units for special needs individuals and families. The Richman Group | America’s 7th Largest Rental Apartment Owner
The project is funded by $6.5 million in City matched funds, a $6.5 million allocation from Housing and Community Development Program, $44.1 million in additional federal and state funding, and $16.8 million in tax credits for a total project cost of $73.9 million.
“We thank Governor Newsom and HCD for this investment,” stated City Manager Stephanie Dietz. “This funding, along with the accompanying streamlined approval process, eliminates the need for multiple housing applications, allowing the City to focus on efficient solutions for the development of affordable housing in our community.”
“As we demand more housing to be built at the local level, it is incumbent upon the state to reimagine and modernize our own approval process,” said Governor Newsom. “State applications that were once redundant, and overly bureaucratic are now streamlined to ensure projects are not stalled in an endless bureaucracy that favored process over production.”
“California continues to advance our commitment to building 2.5 million homes — with one million affordable homes — by 2030, as outlined in our Statewide Housing Plan,” said HCD Director Gustavo Velasquez. “Our simple approach to funding helps us accelerate much-needed construction and ensure the lowest-income Californians have access to quality homes near jobs, transit, schools, and other necessities that will make our communities more inclusive for decades to come.”
“The California Multifamily Super NOFA transformed a once burdensome and lengthy funding application process into an accessible and smart one-stop shop that will get more housing built faster,” said Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency Secretary Lourdes Castro Ramírez. “This results in new homes for struggling working families, veterans, farmworkers, and people exiting homelessness. California will continue to act with urgency to find new, innovative solutions to fast track housing development.”
City of Merced Affordable Housing Project Update
CVV News l October 1, 2022
Projects will offer 623 affordable housing units, $1.125 million for first-time mortgage assistance, and $1.375 million supporting owner-occupied rehabilitation assistance.
Merced, Calif – To keep the community informed and encourage resident participation during the approval process of projects in development, the City of Merced announces an update to affordable housing projects, a first-time mortgage assistance program, and an owner-occupied rehabilitation assistance program. In addition, the City encourages residents to look for opportunities to engage with City Council at Council Meetings and on its social media platforms.
“Affordable housing projects are driven by the City Council’s 2022/23 Goals and Priorities,” stated Merced City Manager Stephanie Dietz. “Through Council’s direction and collaborative relationships with local and state agencies and housing partners, the city continues to focus on a coordinated approach to support the construction of affordable housing, supportive services and evaluating alternative housing solutions.”
The Retreat Apartments – Childs Avenue & B Street Affordable Housing Project
With an initial grant award of $13.9 million, $5.8 in City matched funding, and $29.3 million in tax credits, grant funding, and loans for a total of $49 million, construction is complete on the retreat Apartments at Childs Avenue and B Street.
In partnership with the development team of Central Valley Coalition for Affordable Housing and the Richman Group, along with the County of Merced, Central Valley Opportunity Fund, Central California Alliance for Health, California State Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) Program, the Merced County Association of Governments, and the City of Merced, the Retreat offers housing to 30 extremely low-and 88 low-income individuals and families.
The complex has a total of 119 units comprised of one-, two-, and three-bedroom floorplans ranging from 573 to 1302 square feet. In addition, the property includes an expansive clubhouse, a resident lounge with workstations, a professional fitness center, laundry facilities, an onsite property manager, and more. Rental rates range from $661 to $895 per month.
Approximately 60 percent of the units have been leased with additional applicants in the rental process. The property manager expects to be at 100 occupancy by October 2022.
For property information, please visit https://richmanpropertyservices.com/locations/the-retreat/
CC915 R Street Housing
In March 2022, with an initial grant award of $4.42 million from the California Department of Housing and Community Development and $250,000 in City matched funding, construction for the $4.6 million Homekey R Street Housing Project, which is a Container Home Project for Veterans experiencing chronic homelessness, is expected to be complete by late winter 2022.
Project Homekey continues a statewide effort to sustain and rapidly expand housing for persons experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness who are inherently impacted by COVID-19 and other communicable diseases.
The CC915 R Street Housing Project consists of 21-unit modular shipping containers, which will serve as permanent supportive housing for local homeless Veterans. Residents will have access to supportive services such as intensive case management services, linkages to behavioral and physical health services, assistance obtaining benefits and essential documentation, and educational and employment services.
Project collaborators include Rescue Mission Merced, Fresno Veterans Affairs, Merced County Behavioral Health and Human Services Agency, Custom Containers 915, and the City of Merced.
The modular units are currently under construction at the CC915 manufacturing site and will be transported to the R Street location upon completion. Additionally, the Fresno Veterans Affairs Division is working with 20 local veterans to secure housing.
For information about Custom Containers, please visit http://www.customcontainers915.com.
For information about Fresno Veterans Affairs, please visit https://www.co.fresno.ca.us/departments/social-services/veterans-service-office.
Twelve Thirteen V Street Housing Project
In March 2022, the City accepted $24 million in funding for a second Project Homekey grant to fund the Twelve Thirteen V Street Housing Project. With $1.7 million in City matched funding, the $25.7 million project is currently under construction with an anticipated completion time frame of late winter 2022.
The Twelve Thirteen Housing Project, which repurposes the former hotel at V Street, will include 96 units of permanent supportive housing for homeless and chronically homeless with incomes equal to or less than 30 percent of Area Median Income (AMI). Fifteen units will be accessible for those with mobility disabilities. Each unit will include a kitchenette, refrigerator, stove or hot plate, and microwave and will be furnished with a bed, dresser, table, desk, and chairs. The units will be pre-wired for cable and internet access. In addition, residents will have access to supportive services such as intensive case management services, linkages to behavioral and physical health services, assistance obtaining benefits and essential documentation, and educational and employment services.
Project collaborators include UP Holdings California, LLC., RH Community Builders, LP, Merced County Human Services Agency, Merced County Housing Authority, and Merced County Continuum of Care.
Rental and residential information will be available closer to project completion.
With $377,000 in City matched funding, four parcels in the downtown area will be used to construct four to five single-family homes. The homes will be constructed via grants, donations, and a low-income family willing to contribute sweat equity to build their home at cost and then purchase it at a rate they can afford. The homes will be built one at a time on Housing Successor Agency land. A Disposition and Development Agreement and Grant Deed are scheduled for City Council approval in November to launch these projects. These homes will have covenants assuring their affordability for at least 45 years should they be resold.
First Time Homebuyer Program and Owner-Occupied Rehabilitation Assistance
In April 2022, the California
Department of Housing and Community Development awarded the City $2.5 million in CalHome Program Funding to support first-time homebuyers and owner-occupied rehabilitation assistance programs.
The CalHome Program will provide $1.125 million in funding for first-time mortgage assistance. An additional $1.375 million will support owner-occupied rehabilitation assistance, including the construction of ADUs or JADUs.
Funding will assist qualified first-time homebuyers through deferred-payment loans for down payment assistance, home rehabilitation, including manufactured homes not on permanent foundations, acquisition, and rehabilitation, homebuyer counseling, self-help mortgage assistance, or technical assistance for self-help homeownership. All funds to individual homeowners will be in the form of loans.
The City is partnering with Self-Help Enterprises (SHE) to provide housing grant services. Program guidelines and application development are in the final stages. The City Council is set to review and approve the program agreement during a November meeting.
For information about Self-Help Enterprises, please visit http://www.selfhelpenterprises.org.
Projects in Development:
With funding of $32.8 million, which includes $405,000 in City matched funding, this 54-unit permanent supportive housing development is to be located at 18th and I Streets, constructed on Housing Successor Agency land. This project is in the predevelopment phase, but the City is encouraged by Linc’s successes in affordable developments throughout California. A Disposition and Development Agreement and Grant Deed will be presented for City Council’s consideration and approval later this year.
For information about Linc Housing, please https://www.linchousing.org/communities.
Mercy Village 3015 Park Ave
A 65-unit mixed-use permanent supportive housing development on Park Avenue in the City of Merced will be funded by $10.4 million in initial grant funding, $1.3 million in City matched funding and $25.9 million in additional state grant funding for a total of $37.6 million.
The project will be all one-bedroom apartments with important tenant amenities and ample onsite service delivery space for supportive services. Thirty-one units will be designated as No Place Like Home (NPLH) units and serve individuals that are experiencing or at risk of homelessness, and that also have a severe mental illness. All other units will be affordable to Special Needs households, including those experiencing homelessness. In addition, mental and behavioral health services will be made available to residents in partnership with the County of Merced Department of Behavioral Health and Recovery Services.
Devonwood Village Apartments
A 156-unit project on Loughborough Drive will be funded by $52 million in Housing and Community Development Program funding and tax credits, $17.8 million in additional funding and $6.5 million in City matched funding pending City Council approval for a total project cost of $76.3 million. The project will consist of 123 units for individuals and families and 31 units for special needs individuals and families.
A 108-unit project at 1808 Parsons Avenue will be funded by $53 million in grant funding, $5.2 million in City matched funding, and tax credits of $13.1 million for a total project cost of $71.3 million. This project will provide 1–4-bedroom units with an onsite manager and will be available to individuals and families with incomes equal to or less than 60 percent of Area Median Income (AMI).
10 California Communities Awarded $17 Million to Address Family Homelessness
CVV New l Jun 24, 2022
Funds will assist over 1,800 families throughout California
SACRAMENTO – As part of Governor Gavin Newsom’s $14 billion package to address homelessness, ten California communities from Mendocino County to San Diego will receive $17 million in Family Homelessness Challenge Grant funds with the goal of reducing family homelessness throughout the state.
“This is not a one-size-fits-all approach. With these grants, communities throughout the state are stepping up with their own solutions and best practices – cutting through red tape to effectively and efficiently eliminate family homelessness,” said Governor Newsom. “Success leaves clues, and through this process we are not only rewarding programs that work, we are also supporting systems that are innovative, and accelerate efforts to address the challenges of family homelessness at the local level.”
Awards are provided through the California Interagency Council on Homelessness (Cal ICH) and are available for immediate access. Cal ICH will be tracking the demonstration projects and will share best practices developed by the grantees with communities statewide. For additional details regarding this announcement, visit https://bcsh.ca.gov/calich/.
Governor Newsom’s multibillion-dollar homeless housing investments will provide more than 55,000 new housing units and treatment slots in the coming years. Building on last year’s historic $12 billion investment to help get the most vulnerable people off the streets, the California Blueprint proposes an additional $2 billion investment to create a total $14 billion package to confront the homelessness crisis.
City Approves Final Budget on Positive Housing Note
By Jonathan Whitaker l June 25, 2022
Merced leaders approved a new $384.6 million fiscal budget for ongoing city government operations in a split 4-3 vote on Tuesday night.
The decision included an added $500,000 to be set aside for an undefined affordable housing funding plan or program that appeared to be a smaller concession to demands from local activists and supporters who have spent the past year clamoring for the city to establish a $5 million “affordable housing trust fund.”
Councilman Kevin Blake voted NO, saying he was opposed to including any additional funds for affordable housing that come directly out of the city’s General Fund monies. Council members Fernando Echevarria and Jesse Ornelas also voted NO; however, they have both voiced support for more significant funding with regard to affordable housing.
Mayor Matthew Serratto remained upbeat about the budget passing and accented his views by noting all the progress the city has made in recent months with regard to facilitating affordable housing projects.
“We’ve been extremely active in securing state and federal funding for housing — Tens and tens of millions of dollars,” Mayor Serratto pointed out. “To say this council hasn’t done anything on housing, I think the facts really contradict that.”
Serratto also pointed out: “Just today alone, there are 632 affordable units on this agenda tonight.”
The mayor was referring to a developer’s plans for a new affordable housing complex at the southwest corner of Loughborough Drive and Meadows Avenue. The nearly 7-acre site would also include a medical clinic, according to the latest designs.
The Council unanimously approved zoning changes for the project on Tuesday night.
Mayor Serratto also mentioned the city’s decision to allocate $6.5 million of American Rescue Plan Act federal funding for affordable housing, along with a grant received for $2.5 million to fund a first-time homebuyer down payment assistance and owner-occupied rehabilitation program.
The city has also received $1.3 million to support a 67-unit affordable housing project, $24 million for a 95-unit motel conversion project, and $4.2 million for a 21-unit permanent supportive container housing project.
The $384.6 million fiscal budget features a General Fund of $53.5 million, which covers essential municipal services such as water, garbage, police and fire — and that’s up from last year’s $320.1 million budget and $51.3 million General Fund.
Other additions to the earlier proposed budget include: $100,000 for community art projects, $50,000 for community groups, $26,000 for a bicycle race, $100,000 for building repairs at Stephen Leonard Park in south Merced, and $33,612 for a zookeeper position at the zoo, among other funding. The budget also adds two police dispatch positions.
CITY RECEIVES $2.5 MILLION CALHOME FUNDING AWARD
CVV News l May 11, 2022
The City of Merced announced that the California Department of Housing and Community Development has awarded $2.5 million in funding to assist individual first-time homebuyers in the City of Merced.
“This is progress toward our efforts of providing funding programs that will help first-time homebuyers reach their goal of becoming homeowners in our community,” stated Scott McBride, director of Development Services for the City of Merced. “Our partner on this project, Self-Help Enterprises shares our goal of improving the living conditions of people in our community. We are confident in their experience and success in operating programs on behalf of the communities they serve,” he said.
The CalHome Program will provide $1 million in funding for first-time mortgage assistance, including the purchase of a home with an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) or Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit (JADU). An additional $1.25 million will support owner-occupied rehabilitation assistance and include rehabilitation of manufactured housing or rehabilitation of ADUs or JADUs. Lastly, $250,000 will provide ADU and JADU assistance, including construction, repair, or rehabilitation of ADUs and JADUs.
This funding will assist individual first-time homebuyers through deferred-payment loans for down payment assistance, home rehabilitation, including manufactured homes not on permanent foundations, acquisition, and rehabilitation, homebuyer counseling, self-help mortgage assistance, or technical assistance for self-help homeownership. All funds to individual homeowners will be in the form of loans.
Self-Help Enterprises’ (SHE) will support the City with housing grant services. The organization will support housing rehabilitation and homebuyer assistance program activities and provide coordinated services in a timely, cost-effective manner. In addition, the organization will work on program guidelines, including developing the application. This program is eligible for properties within the City of Merced.
“We share the City’s concern for preserving affordable housing and improving neighborhoods,” said Susan Long, program director, Partner Services for Self-Help Enterprises. “We are encouraged to see the City of Merced adopt plans and target funding to assist low-income residents with housing needs,” concluded Long.
For more information about the program, and to inquire about eligibility, visit www.selfhelpenterprises.org or call (599) 651-1000. For more information about the City of Merced, visit www.cityofmerced.org.