For Immediate ReleaseJune 20, 2023
Board of Supervisors OK distribution through Community Development
San Rafael, CA – For years, Marin County residents have routinely cited a need for more affordable housing options as one of their top priorities, both in community surveys and when expressing themselves before the Marin County Board of Supervisors.
On June 14, the Supervisors took two actions that will free up more than $6.6 million in grant funding for affordable housing proposals all over Marin. The fundings sources are the federal government, the state government, and the County’s own Affordable Housing Fund.
Among the beneficiaries of the Board’s approvals is the Oak Hill project in unincorporated Marin near San Quentin that will develop 115 units of affordable housing. Other projects that will receive fresh funding include the long-planned conversion of a former U.S. Coast Guard housing facility in Point Reyes Station, a Habitat for Humanity development in northern Novato, new southern Novato housing for military veterans transitioning from homelessness through Homeward Bound of Marin, and a Project Homekey location in San Rafael’s Canal neighborhood.
The 23 projects funded also include community facility improvements and services benefiting low-income residents. The Countywide Priority Setting Committee, which includes representatives from most Marin towns and cities plus community members, reviewed all applications and made recommendations to the Board. That committee, which meets about four times per year, was convened and is overseen by Community Development Agency (CDA), the County department that coordinates the distribution of allocated federal and state grants.
Most of the projects remain in the planning stages and additional funding will be required before construction begins. However, within the next few weeks the City of San Rafael plans to consider a separate allocation to the Canal proposal, at 3301 Kerner Boulevard, that is critical to completing the project.
“With help from the Countywide Priority Setting Committee, the County has focused investments on fewer projects, prioritizing projects that align with fair housing and equity goals,” said Senior Planner Molly Kron. “A lot of people are eager to see these get across the finish line and help alleviate our ongoing affordable housing crisis.”
The approvals June 13 were of the annual variety, but with a twist. Included with the annual allotments of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) funds were a one-time allocation of additional HOME funding from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. All three sources come from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
An additional source of funding approved is the state’s Permanent Local Housing Allocation (PLHA), established in 2017 to provide a permanent source of funding to help cities and counties implement plans to increase the affordable housing stock aimed at individuals with household incomes at or below 60% of the county’s area median income. In Marin, that threshold is $111,480 for a household of four. The County’s Housing Trust Fund is used to match any PLHA allocation.
Learn more about the process on CDA’s webpages devoted to affordable housing and federal grants.
Molly KronSenior PlannerCommunity Development Agency
3501 Civic Center DriveSuite 304San Rafael, CA 94903(415) 473-7549Email: Molly KronCommunity Development Agency