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 60%

Updated: January 2024

Summary of objective implementation status

The objective of identifying and leveraging grant funding sources for permanent supportive housing and affordable housing is increasingly met through Sonoma County Community Development Commission’s (Commission) annual competitive funding processes and continual efforts to secure grants and additional funding for local projects. This year, new funding includes the Home Investments Partnerships American Rescue Plan Program (HOME-ARP).

The Commission is responsible for administering two annual funding opportunities for affordable housing development and preservation. The first opportunity is the Federal Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) which includes the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Home Investment Partnership Program (HOME), Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG), the HOME Investments Partnerships American Rescue Plan Program (HOME-ARP), and the Low-Moderate Income Housing Asset Fund (LMIHAF) funds and includes a competitive process for affordable developers to apply for funding. The second NOFA is for State and local funding opportunities including the Permanent Local Housing Allocation (PLHA) and County Fund for Housing (CFH).

Both processes take into consideration the amount of other funding a project applicant is proposing to leverage. The objective of identifying and leveraging grant funding sources is met in two ways: allocating millions of dollars into the community through the NOFA’s and by pursuing additional funding for Sonoma County.

In 2023, the Commission awarded a total of $6,187,021 to 10 affordable housing projects and programs including:

  • 7 multifamily affordable rental developments (new construction)
  • 1 new development that will have 21 permanent supportive housing units.
  • A tenant based rental assistance program.
  • The housing rehabilitation loan program

These  projects and programs will create an additional 279 new affordable units for Sonoma County and will provide rental assistance to very low-income households and will preserve existing affordable housing.

In addition, the Commission disbursed $3,107,459 to 8 projects for the production and preservation of affordable housing including:

  • 5 affordable multifamily housing projects for a total of 315 new units
  • Affordable homeownership loans
  • Tenant-based rental assistance
  • Housing rehabilitation loan program

The total funds awarded ($6,187,021) and disbursed ($3,107,459) assisted in leveraging $413,675,096 in other funding to support total project costs for all affordable housing projects and programs.

In addition to the funding stated above, additional new funds were awarded to the Tierra de Rosas project to support the infrastructure and development:

  • Sonoma County General Fund $9,052,011
  • Sonoma County District 3 Discretionary Infrastructure Funds: $2,000,000
  • State Allocation: $3,000,000
  • Sonoma County Agriculture and Open Space Matching Grant: $1,500,000

Key milestone update 

  • Four new affordable housing developments are currently in the lease up phase with a total of 350 units affordable to households with incomes that range from extremely low income to low income.
  • Three Homekey projects:
    • George’s Hideaway design, engineering and related work is underway. This project received additional funding from the Commission’s federal grants and will provide 21 units of permanent supportive housing in Guerneville. Construction is expected to be underway in the first quarter of 2024.
    • Hotel Azura, located in Santa Rosa, currently operates as a 44-unit non-congregate shelter with supportive services.
    • Elderberry Commons, located in Sebastopol recently received building permit approval to begin the development work for conversion to a Permanent Supportive Housing development with 31 units.
  • Fiscal Year (FY) 2023-2024 NOFA processes awarded $5,225,756 to local affordable housing projects.
  • The Commission disbursed over $3.1 million to affordable housing development projects in 2023.
  • Sonoma County obtained approval from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the federal HOME Investment Partnership Program – American Rescue Plan (HOME-ARP) Allocation Plan and is currently accepting applications for $2,542,785, with a percentage allocated for affordable housing and non-congregate shelter development.
  • The Commission published a NOFA in November of 2023 including $2,527,224 in federal and local funds, which will be awarded in the first quarter of 2024.

Coordination and partnership update

  • The Community Development Committee (CD Committee) and the Cities and Towns Advisory Committee (CTAC) continue to meet monthly. The two committees review and make funding recommendations to the Board of Supervisors and collaborate with cities in the Urban County on new programs and funding opportunities.
  • The Commission partners with community-based organizations and housing developers to produce and preserve affordable housing.
  • The Commission continued to work in collaboration with an affordable housing developer to finalize plans and for the development of the Tierra de Rosas project.
  • Commission worked closely with Permit Sonoma to develop the 6th cycle Housing Element, including the new Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing component. The Housing Element includes multiple programs and activities that will be administered by the Commission, jointly with Permit Sonoma or community-based organizations and affordable housing organizations.

Community, equity and climate update

The Commission works continually to promote community, equity-based solutions, and projects that address Sonoma County climate initiatives. The CD Committee includes two representatives who are current tenants of the Housing Authority; one that is at least 62 years of age. The CTAC Committee is comprised of representatives from each of the seven cities that make up the Urban County. All committee meetings are open to the public with posted agendas; attendees may choose to attend virtually or in person. The federal NOFA is used to implement and achieve the goals identified in the five-year Consolidated Plan. The development of the Consolidated Plan and Annual Action Plans includes broad community outreach and engagement . The FY 2024-2025 NOFA will prioritize projects that meet the local green building certification and climate initiatives.

Funding narrative

The Commission partnered with Generation Housing to obtain a “Prohousing Designation” in July 2023 which makes Sonoma County eligible to receive preference for additional state grant funding for affordable housing.