By RIA ROEBUCK JOSEPH
THE CENTER SQUARE CONTRIBUTOR
(The Center Square) – Across the state of California, 58 communities were awarded more than $825.5 million to build multi-family and infill developments amounting to roughly 9,550 homes in a new funding development process that combines multiple applications into a single award.
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced last week the first funding awards with approximately $125 million distributed for infill development and $700 million allotted for multifamily housing development in a scheme called the Multifamily Finance Super Notice of Funding Availability (Super NOFA).
The largest awardee was Tenderloin Neighborhood Development at $36,363,022 for their 2550 Irving project in San Francisco. The project is expected to create 90 units of housing in the Northern California city with 89 units dedicated to multifamily development. The smallest award to Northern California went to Satellite Affordable Housing Associates at $1,672,488 to build 811 San Pablo with 33 infill affordable housing units.
In Southern California, Wakeland Housing and Development Corporation received $30,599.069, the largest award of the region to build 117 units with 87 Super NOFA designations at their Cuatro City Heights project in San Diego. Southern California’s smallest award went to Los Angeles Abode Communities in the amount of $1,500,000 for their community Western, with 80 units of affordable infill housing.
The awardee list also included a number of awards for rural community developments.
The Super NOFA Funding, administered by California Department of Housing and Community Development, combines four housing programs: Multifamily Housing; Infill Infrastructure Grant; Veterans Housing and Homelessness Prevention; and Joe Serna Jr. Farmworker Housing Grant – into one application.
“As we demand more housing to be built at the local level, it is incumbent upon the state to reimagine and modernize our own approval process,” Gov. Newsom said.
The new streamlined process, it is hoped, would save time and money and accelerate the development of climate smart infill housing and expand the availability of affordable housing throughout the state.
“State applications that were once redundant, and overly bureaucratic, are now streamlined to ensure projects are not stalled in an endless bureaucracy that favored process over production,” Gov. Newsom stated.
Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency Secretary Lourdes Castro Ramírez said “This results in new homes for struggling working families, veterans, farmworkers, and people exiting homelessness. California will continue to act with urgency to find new, innovative solutions to fast track housing development.”
A report on the governor’s plan for homelessness by the California Legislative Analyst’s Office states, “California has about 161,500 individuals experiencing homelessness, which represents about 28 percent of the total homeless population in the nation” since January 2020.
It further stated “Historically, local entities have provided most of the homelessness assistance in their jurisdiction, relying in part on federal and state funding. As the homelessness crisis has become more acute, the state has taken a larger role in funding and supporting local governments’ efforts to address homelessness.”
Over the lifetime of all the housing projects awarded funding in today’s announcement, it is estimated that 187,500 people will benefit from these new housing developments.