Nevada County homeless resource center delayed; state denies grant for project
Nevada County officials say the loss of a grant won’t stop the Brunswick Commons project.
The project — which will put a two-story resource center and three-story apartment building on Old Tunnel Road — relied on $5.6 million from two different sources. Part of that money — a $3 million grant from the state Department of Housing and Community Development — failed to materialize, pushing back construction by at least a year, said Mike Dent, the county’s housing director.
Construction now is expected to begin in spring 2021, reaching completion in a year.
“We’re committed to construction on Brunswick Commons Resource Center,” Dent added.
At issue in the grant application, submitted earlier this year, was a “term sheet” stating Hospitality House would secure $2.6 million from the Rural Community Assistance Corporation for the project. In the past, the state has relied on those letters when issuing grants. This time the state said it needed a greater financial commitment, Dent said.
“Now that’s new to us,” he added. “That has not been the past pattern.”
According to Dent, the county applied in February for the $3 million grant. That application included a letter stating Hospitality House would obtain a $2.6 million for the homeless center, for a total of $5.6 million.
In April the county received notice it wouldn’t receive the grant, leading it to appeal.
“We appealed the decision and they said, ‘Nope,’” Dent said.
The May 8 letter denying the county’s appeal states officials failed to provide evidence of a funding commitment.
“Specifically, the second page of both term sheets clearly state that ‘Nothing herein shall be construed in any manner as a commitment or an obligation on behalf of (the Rural Community Assistance Corporation) to enter into any loan transaction,’” the denial letter states. “The term sheets, therefore, are not commitments of funding.”
Dent said competition for grant funding this year was intense. The state received 48 applications asking for a total of $48.9 million. However, it only had only a fraction of that available in grants, Dent said.
Dent anticipates more grant dollars available in the next round of funding, which begins in January. He emphasized that the county will secure the additional funding before applying for the state grant.
To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4239.
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