For Immediate ReleaseJune 12, 2018
Housing Trust funding boosts Fairfax proposal for church property
San Rafael, CA – After more than six years of planning and working to obtain permits, a project to create 54 units of housing for seniors, including people transitioning from homelessness, will begin construction this fall with $2.6 million of assistance from the County of Marin’s Housing Trust.
The County assistance aligns well with County goals to create and preserve more affordable housing in Marin. The Board of Supervisors made affordable housing a top priority several years ago as more and more Marin residents expressed concern about being priced out of the county because of high rents and mortgages. Marin has some of the highest home prices in the country with a median price for a single-family home at $1.1 million, and the average rent for a two-bedroom unit is $3,121.
The recipient of the grant and loan is Resources for Community Development, a 30-year-old nonprofit based in Berkeley. The Board-approved County funding for Victory Village comes from the Housing Trust Fund, established in 1980 to support housing for low-income and very-low-income households. In Marin, that translates to $88,650 to $55,350, respectively, for a family of three.
The total projected cost for Victory Village is $35,670,666. Recent changes to tax credit rules and increased construction costs partly attributed to demands after the North Bay Wildfires of October 2017 created a funding gap. Resources for Community Development is working to close the $4.85 million funding gap through the County grant and loan plus assistance from other sources.
County Housing Trust funds can be used anywhere in the County, with a priority for projects in the unincorporated areas. After about 15 years of concentrating the support in unincorporated areas, the Board of Supervisors changed course in February 2016 when it provided $675,000 in Housing Trust funds to prevent 27 units of affordable housing from being changed to market rates at the Piper Court Apartments in Fairfax. The most recent use of Housing Trust money came in May 2018 when the Board allotted $200,000 to Homeward Bound of Marin to help create 12 affordable homes within the Larkspur city limits.
“Once the trust became more of countywide in scope, it opened the door to assist more lower-income households,” said County Housing Planning Manager Leelee Thomas. “There is an urgent need to do that because so many people have told the County that they can’t afford to live here anymore, even if they grew up here and have lived here for most of their lives.”
The project also aligns with the Board’s 2018 goal to prioritize the Housing First program for people experiencing homelessness. Housing First centers on providing permanent housing as quickly as possible before following up with intensive services as needed. Housing First has been implemented by all of Marin’s major homeless housing providers. Through placements via Marin’s Coordinated Entry program, in which Victory Village will participate, Marin has successfully housed 32 of the most vulnerable people with long histories of homelessness.
The mission of the County’s Affordable Housing Program, managed by the Community Development Agency (CDA), is to preserve and expand the range and supply of adequate, accessible, and affordable housing through housing policies, regulations and programs. The Board and CDA staff work in tandem to increase the local stock of affordable housing for the sake of enhancing socioeconomic balance in local communities.
Learn more by checking the Housing Trust Fund implementation guide and funding application on the County’s Affordable Housing webpage.
Leelee ThomasPlanning ManagerCommunity Development Agency
3501 Civic Center DriveSuite 308San Rafael, CA 94903(415) 473-6697Email: Leelee ThomasAffordable Housing webpage