Federal funds to support future local affordable housing

Santa Clarita City Hall, as pictured on Feb. 26. Watson/The Signal
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The Santa Clarita City Council will consider allocating a little over $3.5 million in federal funding intended to support low- and moderate-income residents with decent and affordable housing and economic opportunities. 

The proposed allocation will be discussed as part of a public hearing, which also includes considering amending one action plan and adopting another required by the federal government to receive the funding, during the City Council’s regular meeting Tuesday starting at 6 p.m. 

Local nonprofit organizations, like Single Mothers Outreach, Family Promise of Santa Clarita Valley and Bridge to Home, applied and were selected to receive a portion of the federal Community Development Block Grant funding, according to a city staff report. 

The federal dollars support meals, scholarships, staff and other materials and services provided by local nonprofit organizations serving low- and moderate-income residents in Santa Clarita. 

Metropolitan cities with a population of at least 50,000 people are among those entities eligible for an annual CDBG appropriation, which included funds through federal coronavirus relief packages this year. 

The additional coronavirus relief funding makes up nearly 40% of the $3.5 million up for the City Council’s consideration Tuesday. Most of that amount, just under $1 million, will be set aside for future projects. 

“We do think that at some point or another this upcoming fiscal year, we’re still going to need to provide assistance for those feeling those residual effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Michael Villegas, the city’s community preservation officer. 

The city will also set aside CDBG funds for projects addressing homelessness, and HOME funds – federal funding meant for affordable housing development – for acquiring land for affordable housing. 

“We’re basically going to earmark this money to eventually acquire some sort of land that can then be used for an affordable housing project,” said Villegas, noting the Three Oaks housing project on Newhall Avenue as an example.  

Legislation 

The City Council will also consider Tuesday taking positions on three pieces of state legislation that would impact municipal control of public health (Assembly Bill 1251), housing (Senate Bill 621) and electric vehicle charging stations (AB 970).  

The proposed stances were recommended by the council’s legislative committee and seek to protect local decision-making and land use authority. 

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