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Sacramento, CA | The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced that Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency is a recipient of a $150,000 Community Challenge Planning Grant from the Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities. The Agency will administer the grant on behalf of the Housing Authority of the County of Sacramento and is one of only two grantees in the state of California. The highly competitive 2011 Sustainable Communities grants totaled $97 million. Only 27 communities and organizations will receive the Community Challenge grants.
The goal of the Sustainable Communities grants is to help communities improve their economic competitiveness by connecting housing with good jobs, quality schools, and transportation. HUD’s Community Challenge Grants are intended to reform and reduce barriers to achieving affordable, economically vital and sustainable communities.
“On behalf of the Sacramento County Housing Authority and our partners, SHRA is pleased to be selected to receive this important award,” said SHRA Executive Director La Shelle Dozier. “This grant will greatly assist our efforts to strategically position Sacramento for the economic turnaround and to leverage other public/private investment that will help create the quality of life benefits of affordable housing, livable neighborhoods, and healthy lifestyles that our residents need and deserve.”
The grant awarded to SHRA will be used to successfully design a Transit Oriented Development Loan Fund in partnership with a broad range of community interests. The new program will partner with nonprofit and for-profit developers, capitalize on historically low land values, and address the current lack of available credit to acquire land for affordable housing. The fund will provide financing for strategic property acquisition in current and future transit corridors and to preserve and expand affordable housing opportunities in proximity to public transit. The commitments made through the TOD Loan Fund will ultimately leverage other public and private investment into the local housing market. The TOD Loan Fund will build upon local planning and policy initiatives that promote equitable TODs, help secure scarce developable properties near transit and position Sacramento for equitable development and inclusive TOD communities when the market returns.
Additionally, the grant will address a key component of successful TOD neighborhoods which is local jobs and neighborhood services by evaluating the opportunity for creating a food distribution hub near a TOD neighborhood. In addition to providing jobs for local residents, the food hub will also provide access to local fresh fruit and vegetables in urban neighborhoods currently lacking full service grocery stores.
Core partners include California Endowment, Clearinghouse CDFI, Community Alliance with Family Farmers, Sacramento Area Council of Governments, Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services, Teichert Construction, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Valley Vision, Sierra Health Foundation, Sacramento Area Commerce and Trade Organization, Merchants Bank, Housing California and Farmers Bank, Five Star Bank.