Healthy and Safe Communities

Provide quality and equitable housing, health, and human services for all.

Goal 3, Objective 2

Identify and leverage grant funding sources for permanent supportive and affordable housing development.
On Track 40%

Updated: January 2023

Summary of Objective Implementation Status

This objective centers around working to secure grants and other sources for affordable housing and permanent supportive housing (PSH).  The objective appears to be on track, with multiple grants secured and more in the pipeline.  As this is primarily relating to funding, please see the funding narrative for more detail.

Key Milestone Update

  • Project Homekey, Round #2.  Four projects secured locally.  The County secured one.  The County’s long-term funding support assured that all four will have operational sustainability in the short- and medium term.
  • Homeless Housing, Assistance, and Prevention (HHAP) Round #3. This is about $8.5 million between the County and the Continuum of Care Board (CoC).  We submitted a consolidated application.  After a short delay from the State, our application was successfully submitted as revised, and funds have been awarded.   Funds are distributed in alignment with the CoC’s and County’s guidance in 2022.
  • HHAP Round #4.  We submitted a funding plan (coterminous with the CoC Board) in late November, 2022, with awareness of the State’s concerns about HHAP Round #3 applications.  The funding amounts for HHAP-4 are to be determined.
  • ARPA funds.  The Board allocated $4 million towards homelessness and housing in late December, 2021.  A Board item in December 2022 would allocate those funds for these housing-related purposes:  (1) SoCo Housing Connector, a landlord identification team and tool to build our stable of property owners who will house persons with vouchers; (2) Emergency Flexible Funds (EFF) that can be used to push pending interim housing projects “over the last hurdle” of funding.
  • Measure O Unallocated Funds NOFA.  This NOFA, planned for January 2023, would allocate about $3 million in unallocated Measure O funds towards housing and homelessness support.

Coordination and Partnership Update

A Project Homekey Roundtable, to offer support and collaboration between Homekey award recipients, meets on a monthly basis.  The CoC has convened a Service Providers Roundtable that lead Community Development Commission (CDC)/CoC Staff attend where  service providers are briefed (and listen to advice) as to upcoming funding opportunities.  On a monthly basis, staffs brief the CoC’s Funding and Evaluation Committee on a larger funding calendar that provides an advanced look at NOFAs and other funding decisions relevant to homelessness and housing.

The Community Development Committee (CD Committee) and the Cities and Towns Advisory Committee (CTAC) meet monthly.  At most meetings, CDC staff gives an update on funding opportunities.  This is also a chance to collaborate with cities and others as to new programs and funding streams.

Community, Equity, and Climate Update

The CoC Board, CD Committee, and CTAC Committee meetings are open to the public with posted agendas.  The CoC Board will consider adopting a Strategic Plan Action Step that includes increasing the representation of BIPOC individuals on the CoC Board.

Funding Narrative

Two County ARPA requests relating to supporting affordable housing were submitted:  (1) $4M for a down payment program for Black Sonoma County homebuyers; and (2) assistance for the Roseland project’s affordable housing and infrastructure costs (this project includes 175 units of housing – 75 affordable (at 30-60% of AMI) and 100 market rate units.  Both applications were not funded.

Collaboration with cities helped secure Project Homekey funds for 82 units of Interim Housing and 82 units of Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH).  This collaboration resulted in four new Homekey Round #2 projects (Rohnert Park’s Labath Landing, Petaluma’s Studios at Montero, Healdsburg’s L&M Village, and the County’s project in the Russian River Area (George’s Hideaway).  Key to the collaboration was the Sonoma County Housing Authority’s assignment of Project-Based Vouchers to the PSH projects and the Board’s assignment of Measure O dollars to supportive services for operational expenses.  These projects could not exist without the PBVs and Measure O support.

A CDC-issued Notice of Funding Availability in early 2023 for HOME Investment Partnership, Community Development Block Grant, and Emergency Solutions Grant funds will further support private and non-profit efforts to construct new units.

New funding in the form of the State Department of Health Care Services’ (DHCS’) Homeless Housing Incentive Program (HHIP) will provide about $20 million to the region for various capital and operational programs associated with housing for homeless individuals.  The County, working with the Continuum of Care, submitted an early plan to begin to allocate the HHIP funds in late 2022.

Lastly, as to Roseland, the County teams have strategized with State officials, with the City of Santa Rosa, and with Mid-Pen to determine ways to fill a $18.5 million funding gap for the infrastructure to support the housing. The Roseland Project consists of two key elements – the Casa Roseland (the housing part) and Tierra de Rosas (the infrastructure part). While the housing side is largely funded, the infrastructure is in need of additional funding to help fully meet the promises made to the community – of a park, civic spaces such as the Mitote Food Park, quality roads and utilities, street trees, and more. Securing this commitment via the Strategic Plan’s resources helps ensure that the County is able to fill any gaps that might occur in project funding given the bidding environment and inflation. Deadlines are short and the gap must be addressed by June 30, 2023 for construction to start on time.