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Money Available for Affordable Housing Development

More money is available for affordable housing developers to create new affordable homes in Marin County and preserve existing affordable units. This year, the County of Marin is leveraging several local, state and federal funding sources and issuing a single online application for affordable housing developers to bid for a portion of the $5 million available.

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Now under construction, Centertown apartments in downtown San Rafael will offer 60 affordable homes for families.
Now under construction, Centertown apartments in downtown San Rafael will offer 60 affordable homes for families

March 17 deadline to apply for over $5 million in funding; March 1 virtual meeting set to assist applicants

By Molly Kron

More money is available for affordable housing developers to create new affordable homes in Marin County and preserve existing affordable units.

This year, the County of Marin is leveraging several local, state and federal funding sources and issuing a single online application for affordable housing developers to bid for a portion of the $5 million available. The Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) guidelines provide more details about the different types of funding and criteria for project eligibility.

Streamlining the application and allocation process supports developers who face high housing production costs and helps address the chronic shortage of affordable homes in Marin.

The available funding includes roughly $2.3 million in County Affordable Housing Funds (including a one-for-one match from the State Permanent Local Housing Allocation), $2.4 million in new federal funds from the American Rescue Plan, and $600,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant funds specific to housing projects.

The funds can be used for acquisition, rehabilitation, and new construction projects, although eligibility differs among the funding sources.

To address questions from potential applicants, County staff will host a virtual workshop at 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 1. Registration is open on the County’s Affordable Housing webpage. Around June, staff will present funding recommendations to the Board of Supervisors for final approval.

Marin has some of the highest home prices and development costs in the country. The median local price for a single-family detached home has hovered around $1.5 million in recent years, and typical rents range from $2,500 to $3,400. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been increased concern about homelessness in Marin and discussions about how to stabilize renters and expand housing choices

Well before the public health emergency, the Marin County Board of Supervisors made the preservation of affordable housing and displacement prevention top priorities as more and more Marin residents expressed concern about being priced out of the county because of high rents and mortgages.

The County’s Housing & Federal Grants Division, housed within the Community Development Agency, seeks to preserve and expand the range and supply of adequate, accessible and affordable housing through housing policies, regulations and programs. The Board and CDA staff work in tandem to increase the local stock of affordable housing, thereby enhancing socioeconomic balance in local communities.

Learn more by exploring the Super-NOFA and funding application on the County’s Affordable Housing webpage. Questions may be directed to Housing staff by email (affordablehousing@marincounty.org) or by phone at (415) 473-7309.

 Molly Kron is a senior planner for the Housing and Federal Grants Division in the Marin County Community Development Agency.

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Activism

Oakland Post: Week of June 12-18, 2024

The printed Weekly Edition of the Oakland Post: Week of June 12-18, 2024

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Bay Area

Sen. Wiener, Mayor Breed Announce Bill to Shut Down Fencing of Stolen Goods

On June 3, San Francisco Mayor London N. Breed joined State Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) to announce a bill aiming to combat fencing, the sale of stolen goods. Authored by Wiener and sponsored by Breed, Senate Bill (SB) 925 would allow San Francisco to create permitting requirements to regulate the sale of items commonly obtained through retail theft and impose criminal penalties for those who engage in this practice.

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By Oakland Post Staff

On June 3, San Francisco Mayor London N. Breed joined State Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) to announce a bill aiming to combat fencing, the sale of stolen goods.

Authored by Wiener and sponsored by Breed, Senate Bill (SB) 925 would allow San Francisco to create permitting requirements to regulate the sale of items commonly obtained through retail theft and impose criminal penalties for those who engage in this practice.

“The sale of stolen items in San Francisco has created unsafe street conditions and health and safety hazards that have negatively impacted residents, businesses, City workers, and legitimate street vendors,” states a statement released by the mayor’s office.

San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) Chief Bill Scott praised the effort.

“I want to thank Mayor Breed and Senator Wiener for identifying new ways to combat the illegal fencing of stolen goods. This will help our hard-working officers continue to make progress in cracking down on retail theft,” said Scott.

Under the legislation, San Francisco can require vendors to obtain a permit to be able to sell items deemed as frequently stolen by asking for documentation that the merchandise was obtained legitimately, such as showing proof of purchase.

The legislation also establishes that those in violation would receive an infraction for the first two offenses and an infraction or a misdemeanor and up to six months in county jail for the third offense.

Under this bill, people can still:

  • Sell goods with a permit
  • Sell prepared food with a permit
  • Sell goods on the list of frequently stolen items with a permit and proof of purchase.

“In San Francisco we are working hard to make our streets safer and more welcoming for all. SB 925 would greatly help us get a handle on the sale of stolen goods, all while taking a narrow approach that specifically targets bad actors,” said Breed.

Wiener says the cultural richness of San Francisco and the livelihoods of legitimate street vendors are threatened when bad actors are allowed to openly sell stolen goods on the city’s streets.

“With this bill we’re taking a balanced approach that respects the critical role street vending plays in our community while holding fencing operations accountable for the disruption they cause. It’s critical that everyone feel safe on our streets, including street vendors and neighborhood residents,” said Wiener.

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City Government

SUSD’s Dept. of Public Safety Achieves Compliance with State DOJ’s Five-Year Stipulated Judgment

California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced that the California Department of Justice (DOJ) has ended monitoring of the Stockton Unified School District (District) and its Department of Public Safety (Department), concluding the five-year term of the stipulated judgment that addressed system-wide violations of the civil and constitutional rights of Black and Latino students and students with disabilities.

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California Attorney General Rob Bonta. Official photo, SUSD Police Chief Mayra Franco. Official photo, Pastor Trena Turner of Stockton’s Victory In Praise Church. Victory in Praise Church photo.
California Attorney General Rob Bonta. Official photo, SUSD Police Chief Mayra Franco. Official photo, Pastor Trena Turner of Stockton’s Victory In Praise Church. Victory in Praise Church photo.

Special to the Post

California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced that the California Department of Justice (DOJ) has ended monitoring of the Stockton Unified School District (District) and its Department of Public Safety (Department), concluding the five-year term of the stipulated judgment that addressed system-wide violations of the civil and constitutional rights of Black and Latino students and students with disabilities.

The District has also committed to implementing a plan to further reduce disproportionalities in law enforcement referrals through school year 2026-2027, which will institutionalize the revised policies and practices and continue the progress made under the judgment.

“Over the past five years, the California Department of Justice and the Stockton Unified School District worked together to successfully implement the corrective actions set out in the stipulated judgment to protect the rights of students in schools,” Bonta said on April 11. 

“Today we can celebrate that the agreement has helped the District take important steps to address concerns regarding interactions between police officers and students and to promote an equitable and positive learning environment.

“This achievement is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our educators, staff, students, and Department of Public Safety, said SUSD Supt. Dr. Michelle Rodriguez. “We reaffirm our commitment to continue the important changes and policies and remain steadfast in our mission to improve services and support for all students, ensuring that each child has the opportunity to succeed academically, socially, and emotionally.”

“The Department is proud of the work that was completed surrounding the DOJ Agreement which has not only made us a better Department but has placed us at the forefront of progressive policing,” said SUSD Police Chief Mayra Franco.

“The consent decree was phase one. Now we must build on this momentum to cement the progress that has been made, and fix policdes and practices that continue to hurt SUSD students and families,” said Jasmine Dellafosse, Director of Organizing and Community Engagement at End Poverty in CA.

“The requisite collaboration that took place with community members and the Stockton Unified School District was an admirable beginning,” said Pastor Trena Turner, Victory In Praise Church. “Continued efforts of transparency and inclusion that outlasts the monitoring period, will be of paramount importance to further strengthen the district and ultimately improve the lived experience of our students.”

In 2019, a DOJ investigation concluded that the District’s policies and practices with respect to law enforcement referrals discriminated against Black and Latino students and students with disabilities. The investigation also found unconstitutional search and seizure practices.

DOJ and the District entered into a stipulated judgment that required significant reforms and a five-year monitoring period. As part of the stipulated judgment, which concluded on Feb. 19, the District:

  • Established clear policies and procedures limiting when school administrators refer students to law enforcement.
  • Created a formal diversion program in lieu of citations and arrests to address minor school-based offenses.
  • Revised policies and procedures relating to treatment of students with disabilities in order to prevent discrimination, including the hiring of a trained Disability Coordinator.
  • Created clear processes for school site administrators to refer students with mental health needs to support services rather than a referral to law enforcement.
  • Instituted mandatory annual training of all officers and staff regarding civil and constitutional rights, disability and special education laws, and elimination of bias.
  • Reformed use of force policies, procedures, and practices, including implementing a comprehensive review process.
  • Updated search and seizure policies.
  • Used data to track and analyze all arrests and referrals to law enforcement from schools; and
  • Established the Community Advisory Group, which collaborated with the District to provide input and review updated policies.

Overall, the judgment led to markedly improved outcomes for students. Total arrests of students dropped significantly; in school year 2018-2019, there were 155 arrests, compared to nine arrests during school year 2022-2023. Calls for service to the Department decreased by 54% and unwarranted calls for service decreased by 52%.

Under the disproportionality plan, the Community Advisory Group and Transformative Justice subcommittee, consisting of community organizations and other stakeholders, will continue to meet regularly to improve and reduce disparities in law enforcement referrals and receive and analyze disaggregated and anonymized District data on use of force, law enforcement contacts, citations, arrests, and calls for assistance.

The media office of California State Attorney General Rob Bonta is the source of this report.

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