Nevada County eyes state housing funds |

Nevada County eyes state housing funds

Nevada County could receive state funding to purchase or lease property to house its homeless population and pay for up to two years of start-up funds through the state’s Homekey project.

The state announced it allocated nearly $500 million to the project — an initiative that expands on its Roomkey Project, which enabled cities and counties to purchase hotel rooms. Homekey expands on that by providing funds to purchase whole properties such as hotels as part of its housing-first approach to ending homelessness.

The funds were divided throughout the state based on the area’s homeless and low-income renter populations. After allocating funds to major cities and counties, $17 million was apportioned to “Balance of State,” a region that includes Nevada County and 15 other counties.

Funds are allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis with priority given to projects that can house occupants within 90 days of purchase and support permanent housing developments.

“At this point we’re open to it,” said Ryan Gruver, the county Health and Human Services Agency director. “We don’t have a specific property that we’re looking at right now, just general interest.”

The project will fund up to $100,000 per door. If awarded, funds must be spent by the end of year. The county has until Sept. 29 to apply.

Funds will be awarded until a region’s allocation is entirely spent. Applicants are required to demonstrate a five-year commitment to provide operating funds for any proposed project.

“Certainly we’re interested in funding opportunities to make a dent in critical housing needs,” Gruver said. “Anything we pursue would need to be acceptable to the board and jurisdiction in which it is located. We also wouldn’t bring something forward unless it had sustainable funding.”

To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email or call 530-477-4229.

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