Merced County Times Newspaper
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City of Merced secures $31 million in funding for affordable housing

City Manager Stephanie Dietz announced this week that Merced has been awarded more than $31 million in funding from the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) in the first round of Multifamily Finance Super Notice of Funding Availability (Super NOFA) awards.

This award will provide funding to support construction of affordable housing projects to offer approximately 264 new multifamily homes for individuals and families.

  • Bella Vista — A 108-unit project at 1808 Parsons Avenue. Bella Vista will offer one to four bedroom units with an onsite manager and will be available to individuals and families with incomes equal to or less than 60 percent of Area Median Income (AMI).  Visionary Home Builders of Stockton is the affordable housing developer.

The project consists of $25 million of HCD funding, $5.2 million of City matched funds, $28.5 million in tax credits, and $1.6 million in a private equity loan for a total project cost of $60.5 million.

  • Devonwood Apartments — A 156-unit project on Devonwood Drive. The complex will offer 123 units for individuals and families and 31 units for special needs individuals and families.

The project is funded by $6.5 million in City matched funds, a $6.5 million allocation from Housing and Community Development Program, $44.1 million in additional federal and state funding, and $16.8 million in tax credits for a total project cost of $73.9 million.

“We thank Governor Newsom and HCD for this investment,” Dietz said. “This funding, along with the accompanying streamlined approval process, eliminates the need for multiple housing applications, allowing the City to focus on efficient solutions for the development of affordable housing in our community.”

For his part, Governor Newsom said, “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. 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.”

Said HCD Director Gustavo Velasquez: “California continues to advance our commitment to building 2.5 million homes — with one million affordable homes — by 2030, as outlined in our Statewide Housing Plan. Our simple approach to funding helps us accelerate much-needed construction and ensure the lowest-income Californians have access to quality homes near jobs, transit, schools, and other necessities that will make our communities more inclusive for decades to come.”

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