With grant assistance, Homeward Bound of Marin to create 12 new units
San Rafael, CA – The County of Marin is assisting a local nonprofit to convert a former convent in Larkspur to 12 units of senior housing for those emerging from homelessness.
The Marin County Board of Supervisors voted May 22 to approve a grant worth $200,000 to Homeward Bound of Marin as it rehabilitates the property at 127 King Street, two blocks from downtown Larkspur’s Magnolia Avenue.
Homeward Bound, based in Novato, is a provider of housing and support services for families and individuals who are homeless. The organization negotiated a 35-year lease for the property and acquired a use permit from the City of Larkspur. The convent was part of the adjacent St. Patrick’s Catholic Church.
The Board of Supervisors made the preservation of affordable housing a top priority several years ago as more and more Marin residents expressed concern about being priced out of the county because of high rents and mortgages. Marin has some of the highest home prices in the country with a median price for a single-family home at $1.1 million, and the average rent for a two-bedroom unit is $3,121.
The County funding for King Street Senior Housing comes from the Housing Trust Fund, established in 1980 to support housing for low-income and very-low-income households ($88,650 to $55,350 for a family of three). Following the May 22 grant approval, the fund balance is about $5.3 million.
On May 8, the Board supported the King Street acquisition with a $300,000 federal block grant from its HOME Investment Partnerships Program, designed to expand the supply of affordable housing. The King Street project does not impact the County General Fund.
The Homeward Bound project aligns with the Board’s 2018 goal to prioritize the Housing First Model for people experiencing homelessness. Housing First centers on providing permanent housing as quickly as possible before following up with intensive services as needed.
The mission of the County’s Affordable Housing Program, managed by the Community Development Agency, is to preserve and expand the range and supply of adequate, accessible, and affordable housing through housing policies, regulations and programs. For the sake of enhancing socioeconomic balance in local communities, the County’s In-Lieu Housing Trust Fund was created in 1980 to increase the stock of affordable homes in Marin and provide a local funding source for financial and technical assistance to help low and very low-income households.
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