New funding propels downtown Santa Rosa affordable housing

[caption id="attachment_19008" align="alignleft" width="188" caption="Project renderings made by Jon Worden in 2010"][/caption]

SANTA ROSA -- Construction of a 52-unit, $12.8 million affordable housing and commercial project in Downtown Santa Rosa is expected to go forward this September, funded by new financing after project developers were unable to obtain highly sought-after affordable housing funds to begin construction shortly after the project’s approval in 2010.

On the corner of Seventh and Humboldt Streets, the five-story project, a partnership between Santa Rosa’s Hugh Futrell Corp. and Community Housing Sonoma County NPR, LLC, will feature commercial space on its ground floor and offer 51 one-, two- and three-bedroom units to low-income tenants, according to Hugh Futrell. The final unit will be for the building manager.

Funding for the project includes $3.1 million from the city of Santa Rosa, a $6.4 million tax-exempt bond authorized by the city and held by Citibank, and $3.3 million in tax credit equity investment dollars from an affiliate of PNC Bank. The owner of the development is Humboldt Apartments L.P., whose general partner is an affiliate of Hugh Futrell, said the company’s CEO of the same name.

“Throughout this onerous process, the city of Santa Rosa has been extremely helpful,” said Mr. Futrell, noting the unsuccessful effort to obtain Multifamily Housing and other funding from the state.

[caption id="attachment_59056" align="alignright" width="360" caption="A former county building will be removed to make way for the 52-unit affordable development."][/caption]

The project, which is expected to begin taking applications in June of 2013, will be open to individuals making between 50-60 percent of the area median income, with rent ranging from $700 to $1,100 after utilities, Mr. Futrell said.

The affordability of the project will be maintained for 55 years and available to tenants of all ages, said Marjorie Jackson, affordable housing program specialist for the city of Santa Rosa.

“The more households you have within walking distance of the downtown, the more of an economic impact you’ll have in the downtown area,” she said.

The Santa Rosa City Council approved the tax-exempt bond to fund the project last week.

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