Addressing the challenges of housing in Napa is expensive. Whether it’s funding homeless shelter services, domestic violence shelter counseling, rental housing rehabilitation, or anything else related to housing instability, the City of Napa is paying hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in several categories of support services.
And, with job losses, sudden declines in income, and intensified housing instability due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for services – including rent assistance, meals, and child care ‘children – has become even more pronounced over the past year and a half.
One of the city’s main sources of regular funding for support services is the Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), a federal funding source that is intended to be used for community housing needs and to expand economic opportunities. for people with low and moderate incomes, according to the website of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The city’s allocation of CDBG funds for roughly last year is detailed in the Annual Consolidated Performance Assessment Report (CAPER) approved by Napa City Council on Tuesday. CAPER is measured against a town planning document known as the Consolidated Plan, which sets funding targets for five years. But this year’s report makes it clear that the past year has differed from most years due to the pandemic and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) funding.
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“Many of you know this is the year we deployed $ 1 million in CARES funding,” Deputy Housing Director Stephanie Gaul said at a CDBG committee meeting last week. “It has been a very busy year for us.
Napa received two tranches of funding from the CARES Act, totaling approximately $ 1.1 million, according to the report. For normal CDBG Rights Fund, Napa received $ 590,356 per HUD and distributed $ 473,610. The city also had access to an additional income of $ 285,702 from the revolving loan program – which HUD defines as the gross income generated through the use of CDBG funds, regardless of when those funds were distributed.
Gaul said at a recent CDBG committee meeting that some of the highlights of last year’s overall grant spending include: giving Napa’s homeless service provider Abode Services about $ 55,000 for the operation of the Napa South Refuge; funding NEWS approximately $ 25,000 for bilingual counseling services at domestic violence shelters; donate approximately $ 13,000 to Fair Housing Napa Valley to manage landlord-tenant mediation as well as fair housing education and awareness; and a donation of approximately $ 7,300 for the operations of Catholic Charities’ Rainbow House transitional housing program.
“We absolutely wanted to highlight in our CAPER story what exactly these dollars did,” Gaul said. “Recipients and nonprofits in general are just busy getting things done. “
Parts of the report mention the many obstacles preventing the achievement of the expected results. For example, the report talks about wildfires in Napa County, noting that wildfires in recent years have destroyed about 2% of the county’s housing stock. The report also mentions rising house prices, the high cost of rents and the city’s low rental vacancy rate.
“Napa has always been one of the least affordable housing markets in the state and the country,” the report says. “The city has the largest housing inventory of any city in the county, and displaced residents often seek housing in Napa. Pressure on the housing stock has displaced low-income tenants.
But most of the report focuses, in great detail, on the city’s various efforts to tackle the local housing crisis and support low-income individuals and families.
With funds from CDBG, the city has provided approximately $ 100,000 to re-roof affordable housing in the city and $ 25,000 for ADA updates at the Senior Activity Center.
The remaining balance, $ 631,112, was allocated to the city’s housing rehabilitation program, and that program then provided about $ 287,000 in loans and grants to help 12 households, according to the document.
Using the CARES Act, approximately $ 711,000 was deployed for public services – equitable housing services, housing assistance, food and meal programs, safe shelters, and childcare subsidies – with ultimately $ 282,000. spent, according to the report. An additional $ 335,000 in CARES funding was allocated to a microenterprise program; five companies thus received grants of $ 5,000.
Remaining funding from the CARES law is expected to be exhausted by the end of December this year, according to the report.
The report also details Napa’s housing market and many of the city’s ongoing efforts to help homeless people or those at risk of becoming homeless.
According to the report, 29 non-homeless households received affordable housing last year and 29 households received rehabilitation of existing units. In addition, according to the report, 42 households received tenant-based rent assistance, five new affordable rental units were created, 10 households were assisted with first-home purchase loans and 350 $ 000 in CARES funding was provided to the Napa Valley Community Foundation for emergency financial assistance. for people affected by the pandemic.
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You can reach Edward Booth at (707) 256-2213.