SJCOG helps nonprofit gain funding for Stockton project
The San Joaquin Council of Governments (SJCOG) recently helped nonprofit Service First of Northern California in gaining a grant to integrate affordable housing and sustainable transportation in Stockton.
Service First provides a variety of programs helping people with basic food, clothing, housing and employment needs so they can lead productive and fulfilling lives. It learned in late January it would receive a $27 million Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) grant to complete a funding package to build The Hunter House, a $66.5 million 120-unit affordable housing project. The AHSC grant, which will help cover construction, programming and transportation improvements, is part of a total $808 million for 37 new projects statewide approved by the state Strategic Growth Council (SGC).
“SJCOG provided technical assistance on the grant and extends our congratulations to Service First for this huge achievement,” said agency Executive Director Diane Nguyen. “In addition to SJCOG’s better known roles in transportation and regional planning, SJCOG offers a variety of resources to help local governments, community-based organizations, and other partners on regional housing. This grant award helps advance collaborative goals to improve housing affordability in all the communities within the region.”
Service First qualified for technical help from SJCOG during the highly competitive and complex application process in which the developer applying for funds must also include affordable housing development and transportation improvements that encourage walking, bicycling, and transit use. Those transportation improvements result in fewer passenger vehicle miles traveled (VMT), which reduces greenhouse gas emissions and benefits disadvantaged and low-income communities. SJCOG helped to bring together Service First, the only applicant from San Joaquin County, and local transportation partners allowing The Hunter House application to score well against competing projects statewide.
Service First used SJCOG’s Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategies Consistency Checklist to determine if the proposed project met SJCOG and state housing and transportation policy goals. SJCOG regularly updates the Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (RTP/SCS), a long-range vision and investment plan for future transportation needs in San Joaquin County that takes into consideration future population growth, housing needs, and economic, environmental, and public health goals.
The Hunter House will be in the 600 block of North Hunter Street just north of East Oak Street and west of North San Joaquin Street on what is now a vacant lot. The multifamily affordable housing project for special needs populations will be four stories with a mix of one- and two-bedroom apartments and an underground garage. There will be a community room, two elevators, two laundry rooms, and a workout and fitness area for tenants. The AHSC grant will cover street lighting, trees and drought-tolerant landscaping, and street, sidewalk and curb improvements, including bike lanes. There’s also money in the award for a new railcar for the Altamont Corridor Express.
The location is close to Downtown Stockton. The Cesar Chavez Central Library, Stockton Memorial Civic Auditorium, Martin Luther King Plaza, Weber Point Events Center, El Concilio, San Joaquin Regional Transit District Downtown Transit Center, city and county offices, and several banks and other necessary services are all within a few blocks of The Hunter House site. St. Joseph’s Medical Center, a Walgreens drugstore, and the Robert J. Cabal Station, where travelers can catch a ride on the Altamont Corridor Express or Amtrak San Joaquins, are all a little over a half mile away.
This is the fourth project in Stockton to receive AHSC funding with SJCOG technical assistance with the others being Liberty Square, Grand View Village, and Anchor Village.
Working in partnership with the state, city of Stockton and San Joaquin County Housing Authority, Service First of Northern California already provides affordable housing for the disabled, seniors, veterans, the mentally ill, and people with special needs. Its housing sites in Stockton include Winslow Village Apartment, Paulette’s Manor, Coventry Apartments, and Zettie Miller’s Haven.
Funded by cap-and-trade revenue, AHSC is administered by SGC and implemented by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). The AHSC Program provides competitive grants and loans to projects that help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by developing affordable housing and related infrastructure, active transportation infrastructure, capital transit improvements, and related programming, the majority of which directly benefit disadvantaged and low-income communities. AHSC encourages partnerships between local municipalities, transit agencies, and housing developers to integrate affordable housing and transportation projects.
This is the sixth round of AHSC grants and the 37 projects receiving funding during this round will avoid more than 1.4 million metric tons of CO2, equivalent to taking 304,472 daily passenger vehicles off the road for one year. The AHSC program has invested more than $2.4 billion across the state through 164 sustainable projects, creating more than 15,000 affordable units and reducing almost 4.4 million tons of emissions over the projects’ operating lives.
For more information, visit these websites:
Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC)
Strategic Growth Council (SGC)
California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD)