Although the county government has already begun making loans from its Housing Trust Fund, supervisors are working toward guidelines how those loans can be used to help finance multifamily projects.
The loan program under development is intended to help pay for construction, rehabilitation, renovation, and preservation of affordable housing. It would specifically target housing affordable to those earning up to 60 percent of the area median income, including price-controlled Affordable Dwelling Units, a county program that keeps the cost of some homes below market rates for a 15 or 20 years.
Most large developments are already required to include a number of Affordable Dwelling Units, but the loan would finance units beyond the required minimum, loaning out $30,000 per unit. The loans would come at the Treasury bill interest rate, and the units must remain under the county’s definitions for affordable for at least 30 years.
Questions remain in the structure of the loan program—such as where the county will get the money to pay for it. The Housing Trust Fund normally only receives funding when the county approves large rezoning applications.