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Throughout California, many households are struggling to afford rent. Due to a decrease in incomes, and rental rates skyrocketing across the country, some households simply aren’t making enough to keep up. According to the federal government, if a tenant pays 30% or less of their income towards rent, it is considered affordable. Otherwise, it is deemed a rent burden, an issue that especially affects low to moderate income households. As the median family income for San Joaquin County is $74,000 – a decrease of $1,000 from 2020 – this means that rents are out of reach for the most financially insecure families.

The Housing Authority County of San Joaquin (HACSJ) is continually strategizing to make affordable housing available, both now and in the future, through the Project Based Voucher Program (PBV) program. A component of the Housing Choice Voucher Program, PBVs provide rental assistance for eligible individuals and families occupying specific units that are managed by private owners who have agreements with the housing authority. PBV assistance is attached to the housing units, while HACSJ manages the waiting list.

In June 2021, a request for proposals allowed HACSJ to make 100 PBVs available to existing residential units, making them affordable to the current households. Local landlords competed for these vouchers, and awards were made to Casa Manana Apartments (Domus Development), Dewey Apartments and Grant Village Apartments (Visionary Homebuilders), and Cal Weber 40 Apartments (DFA Development). There are now 19 properties in San Joaquin County with PBVs, totaling 696 affordable housing rental units.

“The residents at Cal Weber 40 Apartments represent the community of Downtown Stockton,” stated Christopher Flaherty, Co-Managing partner of DFA Development. “And their ability to afford a wonderful place to live is provided by the Housing Authority of San Joaquin’s support through its Project Based Voucher progam.”

“The Project Based Vouchers that the San Joaquin County Housing Authority recently awarded to Casa Manana Inn, which are in addition to a previous award received five years ago, not only provides added affordability to current and future residents, they also ensure the operating stability of the property that has served the community for over 55 years,” said Maurice Ramirez, President of Domus Development. “They allow us to keep and further our mission to provide deeply affordable rents for our senior residents.”

Future PBV opportunities will be published on www.publicpurchase.com as well as in the local newspapers.

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Stockton, CA (November 2021) – California’s shortage of affordable housing continues to affect some of the most vulnerable citizens of Stockton and San Joaquin County. Solutions have been difficult to achieve, and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have only increased the challenges faced by low-income renters.

In order to maintain housing stability, low-income households need rental subsidies. The Housing Authority County of San Joaquin (HACSJ) assists over 4,300 San Joaquin County residents with monthly rent assistance and supporting housing stability for homeless veterans, the elderly, and families moving from shelters and transitional housing programs. Currently, there are over 400 new families with vouchers seeking a home to rent, but landlord awareness and engagement is needed to really make inroads in housing stability.

“These rental assistance programs rely on the private rental market to connect low-income households to stable housing and are often unable to serve that mission when landlords are unwilling to rent to these deserving families in the most competitive housing market in San Joaquin County’s history,” explained Tom Patti, Chairman of the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors. “The landlord voucher and incentive program is a common-sense solution that will provide property owners the support they need to offer housing to low-income individuals who have a reliable government subsidized voucher to pay the rent each month. With all of this assistance available, landlords can play a vital role in helping people get off the streets and placed into secure, affordable housing.”

We have unprecedented housing assistance from the American Rescue Plan, including landlord incentives that are first in our community, to help people transitioning from homelessness,” added Peter W. Ragsdale, Executive Director of HACSJ. “We need to find a way to collaborate and not let this opportunity go to waste.” HACSJ received 232 Emergency Housing Vouchers representing $3.5 million dollars of housing assistance at full utilization.

HACSJ has taken several steps to enhance the Housing Choice Voucher Program, formerly known as Section 8, by hiring two housing navigators. The navigators provide a critical service to low-income households by locating rental units, acting as advocates and negotiators, and assisting participants in becoming document-ready. With funds from the City of Stockton, the County of San Joaquin, and HUD, HACSJ can offer incentives to encourage landlords to lease their property to families who are homeless or at risk of being homeless.

We could get dozens of families out of shelters and into housing this minute if there were apartments available,” said Jon Mendelson, director of Central Valley Low Income Housing Corp. Separate from the housing authority, CVLIHC provides housing support to more than 300 homeless households each month, and Mendelson said they have more than 125 households currently approved for assistance who can’t find homes. “We need landlords who will partner with us to address our housing crisis.”

For landlords interested in providing housing for homeless families and families at risk of homelessness, incentives include security deposit assistance, unit repairs, start utility service, rental application fees, vacancy loss payments, and a one-time leasing bonus.

“Stockton has been affected by the housing shortage throughout California which has impacted the availability and affordability of units,” stated Stockton’s mayor, Kevin Lincoln. “It is critical that we do everything we can to increase access to affordable rental units in Stockton, especially for our low-income families with vouchers, who are ready to transition out of shelters and into housing. We hope this program will incentivize landlords to open up housing opportunities for our most vulnerable residents, that will create housing stability, and prevent future homelessness in our city.”

HACSJ will be hosting a press conference regarding this opportunity that will include representatives from San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors and Stockton City Council, on Friday, November 12, at 9:30 AM at 2575 Grand Canal Blvd. in Stockton.

The Housing Authority County of San Joaquin (“Authority”) has begun accepting referrals to issue vouchers to provide permanent rental assistance to up to 100 families and individuals, as funding permits, who are participating in a Supportive Housing Program, Shelter Plus Care Program, Emergency Solutions Grants program, or a homeless program in San Joaquin County. Read more

California Housing Partnership has just released a new 2021 report which documents the urgency and value of affordable housing preservation efforts statewide. According to this report, “California has already lost 18,043 subsidized affordable rental homes and another 6,785 subsidized affordable rental homes are at risk of market rate conversion as soon as next year. These homes house thousands of low-income seniors, families and individuals and can be found in 35 of California’s 55 counties.”
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