$5 million to help fund affordable housing in the Palm Springs area
The group’s goal: 10,000 homes by 2028
Regional planning officials on Thursday awarded $5 million to a Coachella Valley nonprofit, called Lift to Rise, to go toward building more affordable housing in the valley.
The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) Regional Council voted to approve the award, which will be added to the We Lift: Coachella Valley Housing Stimulus Fund, a pool of funds that provides flexible, low-interest loans to developments aimed at increasing the local supply of affordable housing Reasonable.
The housing fund was formed through a partnership between Lift to Rise, the Low Income Investment Fund, the Rural Community Assistance Foundation, and Riverside County. As the loans are repaid, the money is lent back within the community, meaning the financing is used again and again to build different housing options that are fair and affordable.
In addition to the $5 million SCAG award, the Low Income Investment Fund and the Rural Community Assistance Foundation will match the contribution of another $5 million, bringing We Lift: The Coachella Valley’s Housing Catalyst Fund to a total of $46 million.
Since its inception in 2021, the Catalyst Fund has helped finance the construction of more than 600 affordable housing units. Previous projects include Vista Sunrise II Apartments in Palm Springs, JFM Villas Apartments in Indio, and Villa Verde Apartments in Coachella.
Lift to Rise spokesman Barrett Newkirk said the new funding will be deployed into affordable projects ready to receive loans and support more than 250 affordable housing units.
“The new funding is not tied to specific projects, but Lift to Rise’s overall goal is to start four new projects each year and help build 10,000 new units by 2028,” Barrett said.
This amount of new affordable housing would help reduce the Valley’s rent-burdened population by 30%, according to Lift to Rise.
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“We are grateful to the leadership from municipalities across Southern California that make up SCAG for recognizing the impact of innovative ideas like the Coachella Valley Housing Stimulus Fund in addressing the current housing crisis,” Lift to Rise CEO Heather Vaicona said in a statement.
She added that the award came after “three years of advocacy from more than 70 dedicated local partners, thousands of community residents, and the leadership of Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia.”
In 2022, the Catalyst Fund received $15 million from the state of California through budget allocations secured by Garcia, D-Coachella, and in a statement he expressed gratitude for the new additional resources.
“We are grateful for a total of $20 million in state resources to accelerate the construction of local affordable housing,” Garcia said in a statement released by Lift to Rise.
In the Coachella Valley, two-thirds of households are rent burdened, meaning they pay more than a third of their income in rent.
“These additional funds will enhance the County’s existing $2 million investment in the Coachella Valley Housing Stimulus Fund to support more high-quality, affordable housing for our county’s vulnerable populations,” said Mike Walsh, Riverside County Assistant Director of Housing and Workforce Solutions. “Existing public-private partnerships like the Stimulus Fund have proven successful in meeting local affordable housing needs, and Riverside County is proud to be an active partner in the network of organizations and residents working to give every person in the county the opportunity for a safe and stable home.”
The $5 million raised for the hike is part of $45 million awarded by SCAG to 14 applicants working on ways to increase housing supply, choice and affordability, particularly among vulnerable populations and unhoused people. Lift to Rise was supported by letters from all nine Coachella Valley cities, the Riverside County Department of Housing and Workforce Solutions, the Lift to Rise Resident Leadership Table, the Coachella Valley Association of Governments, Garcia, Assemblyman Greg Wallis, and the Riverside County Supervisor. In Manuel Perez.