Nevada County applies for grant money for housing, homeless center
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Nevada County officials expect they’ll know within four months if they received a $3 million grant for a proposed homeless day center in the Glenbrook Basin.
The Nevada County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously chose to apply for the federal grant, which if approved would help fund an estimated 10,000-square-foot day center at 936 Old Tunnel Road.
Supervisors also opted to apply for around $1.5 million in state No Place Like Home funds that will go toward 12 units in a 40-unit affordable housing project on the same property. That also will take about four months to discover if they’ll receive the grant.
An additional $500,000 for affordable housing is guaranteed, said Mike Dent, the county’s director of child support, collections, housing and community services.
“This has been so badly needed,” Supervisor Heidi Hall said at Tuesday’s board meeting. “I’m so excited to see this.”
The grant money isn’t assured. Dent said he intends to apply for future opportunities, expected this year, if the county fails to obtain one or both grants.
“While highly competitive, we feel good about this,” Dent said of the $3 million grant, which would come from federal Community Development Block Grant funds.
The grants, if won, won’t pay for both projects. Dent has estimated the day center will cost $4 million or $5 million. The cost of the affordable housing project is unknown, as is the precise construction timetable for both proposals.
The county earlier this month agreed to purchase the Old Tunnel Road property for $223,900.
Nevada County needs to receive what’s called a 50 percent rule waiver to get the $3 million for the day center.
According to Dent, the county ordinarily couldn’t apply for the $3 million grant. That’s because it hasn’t yet spent at least 50 percent of a 2017 grant received last year for a remodel of the Odyssey House — a facility for the mentally ill.
Waivers typically aren’t allowed.
“This is an opportunity to take advantage of, in my opinion,” Dent said.
A handful of people spoke in support of the projects during public comment at Tuesday’s meeting.
“I’m thrilled to see this improvement, to have a central location for homeless resources,” said Charlie Price.
Grass Valley Mayor Lisa Swarthout told supervisors her city supports the projects.
“We look forward to being a part of this,” she added.
Linda Chaplin said she feared people only touted the positives of the projects and weren’t addressing the potential impacts to traffic, especially when fire evacuations are considered.
“It’s a very constrained space,” she said afterward.
To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4239.
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