Arcata Approves Increase in Homekey Project Funding Request – Times-Standard

Arcata City Council approved a resolution requesting more funding for a 60-room permanent supportive housing project in the Valley West area at a brief special meeting held Friday at noon.

The resolution approves a joint forgivable loan request for the state’s Homekey Project funds with the Arcata House Partnership for $19 million while rescinding the previous request for approximately $10.8 million, approved by the board during of its regular meeting of December 15.

As noted in a staff report, Arcata House Partnership updated the budget for a 60-unit development at the Days Inn to $12 million after the December meeting where the item was approved. Later the week of January 17, Arcata House Partnership recommended increasing the amount of the claim to $19 million after consulting with the state Department of Housing and Community Development.

“The additional funds that are requested here were suggested by HCD as a way to ensure that there were sufficient funds for operational costs for the first five years,” summarized Arcata’s Community Development Manager, David Loya.

At the December 15 meeting, City Council unanimously approved the modification of a “homeless housing cluster area” in the Valley West area. The move enabled a total of 138 new permanent supportive housing units between the Days Inn and Red Roof Inn properties with funding from the state’s Homekey Project Grant. The permanent supportive housing model provides long-term housing for residents as well as rental assistance and other support services.

Entrepreneurs Danco Communities and Arcata House Partnership initially approached the city to establish Project Roomkey projects at hotel sites.

An accompanying resolution reflects the change in the requested amount and amends a section of the loan‘s term sheet to include an ongoing outreach plan for site residents and also allows for more avenues to gather public feedback from neighbors and residents of the region.

Council member Meredith Matthews applauded the wider access for anyone who wants to talk about the project.

“I would just like to say that I appreciate the fact that you have added more opportunities for public comment,” she said.

Board members Emily Goldstein, Sarah Schaefer and Matthews all voted to approve the articles. Mayor Stacy Atknis-Salazar and Council Member Brett Watson were not present at the special meeting.

The OK from the three council members arrives just in time to submit the document before the January 31 deadline.

Mario Cortez can be reached at 707-441-0526.

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