Revolving fund helps affordable housing developers get much-needed projects underway
The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors has approved an additional $11.9 million allocation for the Housing Trust Silicon Valley’s Supportive Housing Fund to help affordable housing developers acquire land and pay predevelopment costs for new projects.
The additional funds more than double the capacity of the Supportive Housing Fund which launched in August 2015 with $5 million from the County that the Housing Trust matched with an additional $5 million. The initial $10 million fund has been entirely committed to five loans that support the construction of 272 homes of which 178 will be permanent supportive housing or temporary housing units for homeless individuals and families. These loans will be repaid to the revolving fund over the next two to three years, but in the meantime, the new County investment will provide immediate capital for more affordable housing projects.
“It is extremely difficult for affordable housing developers to compete with builders of market rate homes in acquiring land,” explained Kevin Zwick, CEO of the Housing Trust. “The Supportive Housing Fund is a critical tool in creating a pipeline of new affordable housing opportunities that are so desperately needed in our region.”
This new allocation is the latest step in the partnership between the County’s Office of Supportive Housing and Housing Trust Silicon Valley. Staff members from both organizations serve on the loan committee to ensure the County funds are used to support projects that align with the County’s housing priorities, including Measure A, the $950 million affordable housing bond approved by voters in November. The Housing Trust administers the loan program.
“The County of Santa Clara is pleased to continue our partnership with the Housing Trust in meeting our shared goals of developing supportive housing,” said Ky Le, Director, Office of Supportive Housing. “We look forward to expanding the resources necessary to create thousands of housing opportunities for our most vulnerable residents.”
The success of the Supportive Housing Fund inspired the development of another Housing Trust program designed to help the start up of new developments across all levels of affordability. In March, Housing Trust Silicon Valley announced the launch of a new TECH Fund campaign that provides tools for local corporations and foundations to pool some of their investment dollars in a $50 million fund for affordable housing developments.
“The solution to the housing crisis in our region lies in investments from both public and private sources where everyone in the community works together to make a difference in the lives of our residents who struggle to find and keep housing they can afford,” Zwick said.
Since 2000, Housing Trust Silicon Valley has invested $131 million in multi-family lending, home ownership and homelessness reduction programs that created 14,858 affordable housing opportunities. It is the first nonprofit Community Development Finance Institute (CDFI) to receive a Standard & Poor’s rating. More information about the Supportive Housing Fund and Housing Trust Silicon Valley can be found at HousingTrustSV.org.