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Loan Applications Due Soon for Veterans’ Housing Program

March 20, 2015
Applications are due April 20 for $75 million in Veterans Housing and Homelessness Prevention Program loans.
 
These will mark the first installment of about $545 million in Proposition 41 funding set to be lent out over 15 years.
 
Loans up to $10 million per project will go toward developing affordable multifamily rental housing containing permanent supportive housing, transitional housing or affordable housing units for veterans and their families. Supportive or transitional housing is restricted to households experiencing homelessness.
 
The Department of Housing and Community Development released a notice of funding availability on Feb. 20, following the completion of program guidelines on Feb. 18.
 
Eligibility
 
Borrowers can include local public entities, as well as individuals, joint ventures, partnerships, limited partnerships, trusts, corporations, limited liability companies, tribal governments, or a combination of those, on a for-, limited- or nonprofit basis.
 
Among other requirements, projects must:
  • Involve the acquisition or construction or rehabilitation of an affordable rental housing development or transitional housing or the conversion of an existing structure to suit those purposes; and
  • Restrict at least 45 percent of assisted units to extremely low-income veterans, with rent not exceeding 30 percent of 30 percent of area median income. 
For supportive or transitional housing, projects must use a lead service provider with experience that includes comprehensive case management: individualized assistance with mental health, substance abuse, employment, health, housing retention and similar services, and which adheres to housing-first property management and tenant selection.
 
Housing first programs provide immediate access to chronically homeless individuals and families or vulnerable homeless individuals and families, then supportive services with the goal of moving individuals and families into long-term, stable housing.
 
Scoring criteria for the loans includes development team experience, supportive housing units, services plan, leveraging of development funding, leveraging of rental or operating subsidies, readiness to proceed and confirmation of local need.
 
The program seeks to split the funding between eligible programs by region, with not less than:
  • 31 percent (about $23.5 million) to projects within Los Angeles County;
  • 14 percent (about $10.5 million) for projects located within Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz or Sonoma counties;
  • 8 percent (about $6 million) for projects within Orange, Riverside or San Bernardino counties;
  • 7 percent (about $5.25 million) for projects within San Diego County; and
  • 16 percent (about $12 million) for projects in other counties. 
Program history
 
In 2008, voters approved Prop. 12. It authorized $900 million in general obligation bonds to help veterans purchase single-family homes, farms and mobile homes.
 
The onset of the recession and the state’s housing downturn are blamed for the demand falling short of what was projected, despite California’s largest-in-the-union 1.8 million population of veterans.
In 2013, AB 639 (Pérez) restructured the 2008 bond act, authorizing $600 million to fund multifamily housing for veterans. In 2014, voters backed the change, approving Prop. 41 with better than 65 percent of the vote.
 
Under Prop. 41, about $50 million in general tax revenues will be allocated annually for 15 years.
Nearly 15,000 veterans experience homelessness in California on a given night — 26 percent of the nation’s homeless veterans, according the Department of Housing and Community Development. Of the state’s low-income veteran households in rental homes, 79 percent spend more than half of their incomes on housing.
 
HCD has posted more information online. Questions can be directed to VHHP staff at (916) 263-2771.


 
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