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Former redevelopment funds to pay for affordable housing, homeless care

Alameda County benefits with $14 million for 'boomerang' program

After months of discussion, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors has voted unanimously to designate former redevelopment funds to build affordable homes and prevent homelessness.

The state dissolved redevelopment agencies in 2012, leaving some cities and counties without funds they had anticipated in funding major projects.

Although Pleasanton and Dublin never subscribed to the special taxing agency, Livermore did and, in fact, committed its program to paying more than $120 million in redevelopment funds intended to pay for a 2,000-seat regional theater, putting the project in jeopardy.

With redevelopment funds given to California counties, the Alameda board agreed to spend $9.8 million for affordable housing production,

$3.9 million for its Rapid Rehousing Program; and

at least $2 million for residual tax increment funds annually beginning in fiscal year 2016/2017.

These funds will be deposited into the county's Affordable Housing Trust Fund and can be used to create or preserve housing for extremely-low, very-low, and moderate income households.

The Rapid Rehousing funds will prevent homelessness by helping families pay rent or help them get out of shelters quickly.

Gloria Bruce of the East Bay Housing Organizations commended the county board and county staff for making the commitment.

"This is a great advance," Bruce said. "Like other counties that have dedicated these 'boomerang' funds to affordable housing, Alameda County recognizes that continued public investment in affordable homes supports health, safety and stability for residents."

"While we did not secure the 20-25% of ongoing funds for affordable housing going forward (as requested), Tuesday's decision represents major progress toward that goal," Bruce added.

EBHO was joined in seeking the use of redevelopment funds for housing and care by numerous organizations allied in its efforts.

These included Alameda Point Collaborative, EveryOne Home, BOSS, Building Futures with Women and Children, Christian Church Homes, city of Oakland, city of Emeryville, East Oakland Community Project, EAH, EBALDC, Eden Housing, Enterprise, Housing Consortium of the East Bay, MidPen, NPH, RCD, Renewed Hope, and SAHA.

Supervisor Nate Miley, who represents Pleasanton on the county board, joined other supervisors in an unanimous vote to designate the boomerang funds.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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