Concord affordable housing project gains $25 million in grants

Galindo St. project a boost for city’s affordable housing

At the May 7 meeting, the Concord City Council proclaimed May 11-19 as Affordable Housing Week to raise awareness regarding what is being done in our community to help address affordability challenges.

I want to share more about Resources for Community Development (RCD), the 100 percent affordable, transit-oriented housing project for which the City Council approved additional funding that same evening.

In January 2018, the City Council directed staff to issue a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the city’s $14 million in available affordable housing funds. We prioritized the creation of new affordable housing through the acquisition and rehabilitation of existing rental units, particularly along Clayton Road, and developing new rental housing.

We also provided feedback on the populations to be targeted for support with this funding, which includes seniors, veterans, teachers, school district employees, other local employees, persons with disabilities and low-income families.


Galindo St. project a boost for city’s affordable housing
1313-1321 Galindo project will add 62 new units to Concord’s affordable housing supply. (Contributed photo)

On April 9, 2018, staff presented RCD’s proposal to the Council Committee on Housing and Economic Development (HED), which I chaired, for an affordable housing project at 1313 Galindo St. The committee, which also includes Councilman Tim McGallian, asked questions regarding zoning, environmental review, parking requirements, the overall proposed development as well as population mix and unit sizes.

On May 21, 2018, RCD presented a revised proposal that addressed our concerns and our committee forwarded a recommendation of support to the City Council. On June 26, 2018, the City Council allocated $5.5 million in city affordable housing funds to RCD for a 44-unit affordable housing project at 1313 Galindo.

After receiving funding approval from the council, RCD acquired control of 1321 Galindo St. in addition to 1313 Galindo, allowing an increase in the unit count from 44 to 62. The 41 percent increase in the number of units equates to an additional total development cost of $15 million.

In order to complete this augmented project, RCD requested $2.3 million in addition to the $5.5 million awarded in June 2018, bringing their total city funding request to $7.8 million. RCD’s updated proposal included a five-story, 62-unit complex affordable to extremely low through low-income households, serving a mix of seniors, veterans, small families and special needs households. They set aside 12 units for homeless veterans and one unit for residents living with HIV/AIDS.

On Feb. 4, 2019, RCD presented a revised proposal to HED for the expanded 1313-1321 Galindo project. McGallian and I recommended that RCD increase the number of visitor parking spaces, work with the Police Department on a security plan for the building and incorporate Early California design elements into the building. We wanted to ensure that this project be attractive, well-functioning and secure since it will be located on a prominent thoroughfare and serve as Concord’s flagship affordable housing project.

Our committee ultimately directed staff to forward a recommendation to the full City Council to allocate an additional $2.3 million in affordable housing funds for the expanded 1313-1321 Galindo project. We felt comfortable making the recommendation because RCD has a successful track record of securing the proposed and alternative funding streams necessary for such a project to be fully funded and completed by spring 2022.

I want to emphasize that while every city has some affordable housing funds available, Concord is one of the only cities in Contra Costa County that is actively applying their funds to preserve and create affordable housing like this new project. Housing affordability is an issue across California and beyond, and the city of Concord is working hard to do our part.

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