Summary of Objective Implementation Status
Current programs to address housing and homelessness have been identified for an investment totaling just under $13.2 million ($13,196,730). Additionally, $3 million in unallocated Measure-O funds will be distributed through a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) by the Department of Health Services (DHS) for homelessness solutions that meet certain criteria. A total of $16.2 million is planned for disbursement to programs outlined in the funding section below.
Regarding the Centralized Housing Locator service, a landlord-facing, housing locator or location service, helps provide landlord education, advise, liaison services and resources (such as deposit help, vacant home holds, risk mitigation, and more) to encourage more landlords to accept clients who may have housing vouchers or other housing assistance. In contrast, a “housing navigation” program helps clients get and stay ready for housing (securing paperwork, working within a budget, finding appropriate units for their needs, etc.).
The Community Development Commission (CDC) proposed the Community Housing Connectors (CHC) centralized housing location service. This proposal went before the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors on December 13, 2022 to secure up to $2.165M in ARPA and other funding to provide at least 18 months of operations. The amount includes some staff support, a new software program, and resources for the deposits, unit holds, and risk mitigation.
Key Milestone Update
Regarding the centralized housing location service, funding and key metrics were approved by the Board of Supervisors on December 13, 2022 and a new staff member was hired at CDC to begin work.
Coordination and Partnership Update
The NOFA for Homelessness Interventions seeks Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) working in partnership with municipalities or County Departments to provide various housing and homelessness services such as:
The centralized housing location service program is a coordination between the Sonoma County and Santa Rosa housing authorities, partnering city housing staff members, community based organizations (CBOs), and others. As the program gets rolling, CDC staff will continue to reach out to partners in cities and in CBOs to maximize contacts and leverage regional resources.
Community, Equity, and Climate Update
By providing funding to these various housing and homelessness programs, the community goal of racial equity is addressed since a disproportionate number of these affected populations are people of color on the lower end of the socio-economic scale.
A critical goal of the CHC will be to help current voucher holders find housing. Anecdotally, we see instances where Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) voucher holders are denied housing. Our CHC team will be well trained in Fair Housing Law and will assist both property owners and voucher holders in applying the law in a manner that specifically benefits underhoused communities, including Black and Native American communities.
Residential Care Facilities
Crisis Stabilization Unit
Residential Crisis Services
In-Patient Hospital Services
Mental Health Services at Children’s Shelters
Services to support Residential Care Facilities, permanent supporting housing, and other housing
NOFA for unallocated Measure-O funds
Regarding the Centralized Housing Location Service, $2,0650,000 was approved by the Board using ARPA funds allocated towards CHC. $100,000 was allocated in FY 21-22 via the Strategic Planning effort for a housing location program like the CHC. Thus, the combined program is $2,165M for at least 10 months.