16 Jul

Housing Trust Silicon Valley, Santa Rosa Metro Chamber Create Sonoma County Housing Fund to Spur Critically Needed Affordable Housing

The Santa Rosa Metro Chamber, a business and economic advocate leading the Sonoma County region, has partnered with Housing Trust Silicon Valley, a nonprofit community development financial institution (CDFI) focused on affordable housing in the greater Bay Area, to create the Sonoma County Housing Fund – a collaborative effort to bring critically needed affordable housing to the region.

The $10 million initiative is modeled to a similar successful collaboration Housing Trust made with the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership to create Monterey Bay Housing Trust (MBHT). With this joint effort, Sonoma County Housing Fund will finance affordable housing in the Sonoma County region – which saw its needs for housing swell in the aftermath of the devastating Tubbs Fire in late 2017. Santa Rosa Metro Chamber will work to secure and deploy local investments to assist with the affordable housing creation while Housing Trust will underwrite, approve, and administer the loans.

“Workforce housing is not just the responsibility of government. It’s a community-wide issue needing a community-wide solution,” said Tom Schwedhelm, Santa Rosa Mayor. “Having the Sonoma County Housing Fund in partnership with Housing Trust Silicon Valley is another example of neighbors helping neighbors.”

“Santa Rosa’s ability to access millions in private capital for new workforce housing is going to yield a tremendous return for our citizens and working families and their ability to access quality homes,” said Councilmember Jack Tibbets. “By establishing another local source for workforce housing, we can access even more state and federal funds. I’d like to see us turn the $10 million goal into $80 million by leveraging Sacramento and Washington so we can get even more sticks in the ground and roofs over our families’ heads.”

“If our kids are going to have a good education, we need to make sure our teachers can afford to live here,” said Peter Rumble, CEO of the Santa Rosa Metro Chamber of Commerce. “If our technology companies are going to thrive, we need to be able to recruit engineers. If we are going to be able to care for our aging population, our hospitals need to keep nurses and doctors living here. If our tourism industry is going to continue to be the envy of the world, we need to make sure there is a thriving workforce in our community. All of this comes back to creating housing throughout Sonoma County, and while the Sonoma County Housing Fund isn’t the single solution, it is an important step forward.”

“Effective affordable housing solutions start with collaborative partnerships that maximize strengths,” said Kevin Zwick, CEO of Housing Trust Silicon Valley. “Santa Rosa Metro Chamber is the perfect regional partner for us to create more housing and help Sonoma County rebuild.”

 ABOUT SONOMA COUNTY HOUSING FUND

Sonoma County Housing Fund (SCHF) is a joint $10 million initiative of the Santa Rosa Metro Chamber (SRMC) and Housing Trust Silicon Valley. Leveraging each other’s strengths, expertise and local relationships, SCHF will finance critically needed affordable housing in the Sonoma County region. Housing Trust will underwrite, approve and administer loans while the Santa Rosa Metro Chamber is the local contact responsible for securing and deploying local investments to assist with the affordable housing partnership. Housing Trust Silicon Valley is providing an approximately 2-to-1 match as part of the partnership to help encourage local investment in SCHF and help spur more affordable projects in the short term. The Sonoma County Housing Fund prioritizes supporting multi-family workforce housing with an emphasis on in-fill projects in urban and priority development areas throughout Sonoma County. Under the partnership with Housing Trust Silicon Valley, the Santa Rosa Metro Chamber, through the Sonoma County Employers Housing Council, will endorse projects for SCHF funding consideration.

 ABOUT HOUSING TRUST SILICON VALLEY

Housing Trust Silicon Valley (Housing Trust) is a nonprofit community loan fund based in San Jose that works to improve the quality of life for low-income people in the greater Bay Area by increasing affordable housing opportunities. Since 2000, Housing Trust has invested nearly $230 million in programs that help everyone from people experiencing homelessness to renters to first-time homebuyers – creating nearly 18,500 affordable housing opportunities serving 33,600 of our neighbors. It is the first nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) to receive a Standard & Poor’s rating, AA- because of its strong capacity to meet financial commitments. For more information visit www.housingtrustsv.org

 ABOUT SANTA ROSA METRO CHAMBER

Born out of the rubble of the 1906 earthquake, the Santa Rosa Metro Chamber is the leading voice for business in the North Bay region. Through advocacy, education and workforce development programs, and industry and small business development, the Santa Rosa Metro Chamber strives to create a vibrant community for its members, as well as the residents and visitors to Sonoma County. More than a membership organization, the Santa Rosa Metro Chamber provides a vision and the leadership to achieve increased, shared prosperity for everyone in the region – from each member to every program and volunteer, the Santa Rosa Metro Chamber is shaping the future of living and doing business in the place we call home. For more information visit www.santarosametrochamber.com

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Contacts:

Julie Quinn, Chief Development Officer, Housing Trust Silicon Valley julie@housingtrustsv.org
408-436-3450 ext. 223

Michael Norris, Communications Manager, Housing Trust Silicon Valley michael@housingtrustsv.org 408-436-3450 x 241

Peter Rumble, CEO, Santa Rosa Metro Chamber peterr@santarosametrochamber.com
707-545-1414