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  • What is Economic Development?
  • What is HUD Section 8 Rental Housing Assistance?
  • How does one qualify for Section 8 Rental Housing Assistance?
  • What is the Santa Rosa Housing Trust?
  • I heard that the City can help me repair my home. Do you have any money for that?
  • Is there any money available to help me develop new housing?
  • What does affordable housing mean?
  • Does the City help with homelessness and special needs housing?
  • Current and Major Housing Issues
  • The Future...Challenges and Opportunities
  • What does the Housing Authority do?

What is Economic Development?

Economic Development provides assistance with business needs such as starting or expanding a business, finding a site, or connecting with other City services. The goals of Economic Development are to attract and retain business to ensure jobs for our citizens and revenue for our City while preserving quality of life and the environment; and to ensure Santa Rosa's global competitiveness in the new economy and attractiveness to emerging growth businesses.

What is HUD Section 8 Rental Housing Assistance?

The Section 8 Rental Assistance Program was enacted as part of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974. The Act provides funding to local jurisdictions to sponsor a free choice approach to assisted housing. There is no publicly owned housing in Santa Rosa. Rather, property owners retain property rights and tenants pay a portion of the rent to the landlord. The Housing Authority pays the rent difference directly to the property owner. These rental assistance payments help approximately 1,600 households in Santa Rosa live in decent, safe and sanitary housing while providing $13 million annually of federal funds to the local economy.

How does one qualify for Section 8 Rental Housing Assistance?

To qualify, a household must have an annual income of less than 50% of the median income for Santa Rosa, adjusted for the size of the household. For example, this amount would be $37,550 for a four person household. HUD adjusts the income limit annually. The Department maintains a waiting list of households that would like to obtain this rental assistance. The waiting list is closed until approximately May of 2009. The majority of clients is elderly, single parent families, and people with disabilities.

What is the Santa Rosa Housing Trust?

The Trust is a mechanism by which affordable housing revenue is passed through a Trustee (Housing Authority) for the housing benefit of very low and low-income beneficiaries. Revenue comes from a variety of sources including the federal Community Development Block Grant and HOME Program, and local sources such as the City's General Fund, fees paid by developers in-lieu of providing an affordable unit, and loan repayments. These resources are used for Housing Production, Housing Conversion & Preservation, Special Needs Facilities, and Homebuyer Programs.

I heard that the City can help me repair my home. Do you have any money for that?

In the Trust category of Conversion & Preservation, the Department can lend funds up to $15,000 for repairs to rental units and $35,000 for home repairs so long as the occupants' income is less than 80% of the area median, adjusted for household size. For example, 80% of the median income for a four person household is $59,600 annual gross income. The repairs must assure that the unit meets basic habitability standards. The interest rate is 3% for homeowners and competitive rates for rental properties. In many instances, repayments can be deferred for up to 15 years.

PLEASE NOTE:  Due to budget constraints, the Rehabilitation Loan program has been suspended temporarily.

Is there any money available to help me develop new housing?

In the Trust category of Production, the Department of Economic Development and Housing provides funds to assist the development of new housing that is affordable to households earning less than 80% of the median income. Rents must be restricted to affordable levels for at least 55 years. Most of the funds are provided as low interest loans to non-profit developers of affordable rental housing.

What does affordable housing mean?

HUD guidelines state that housing is affordable to a household if they do not pay more than 30% of their monthly income, adjusted for family size, toward the rent or mortgage payment, plus basic utilities.

Does the City help with homelessness and special needs housing?

Yes. The Department manages local and federal monies that support homeless shelters, transitional housing, housing designed for persons with disabilities, and a host of related services. Examples include the 40-bed Brookwood Center Homeless Shelter, opened in April 2002, and the 80-bed homeless shelter within the multi-purpose Samuel Jones Hall in southwest Santa Rosa, opened in November 2005.

Current and Major Housing Issues

  • Demand for housing, particularly rental housing affordable to very low income families
  • Demand for rental subsidy for very low and extremely low income families and individuals

The Future...Challenges and Opportunities

  • Communicating the many successful results in the provision of affordable housing and the efforts to remove blight throughout the City
  • Expanding neighborhood revitalization efforts
  • Promoting the production of a variety of housing types, such as assisted living for seniors  
  • Pursuing new and diverse financial resources
  • Identifying City land use policies that provide effective incentives for the development of housing that is affordable and appropriate for the community

What does the Housing Authority do?

Primarily, the Housing Authority oversees Federal and local funding that promote affordable housing opportunity like HUD Section 8 Rental Assistance, Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and HOME Programs.