Sacramento, CA

Sacramento to approve $2 million to support home ownership near Aggie Square

Robert J Hansen
Sacramento City Mayor Darrell Steinberg announcing programs keep people housed and help first-time home buyers on Friday, Feb. 3, 2023.Photo by(Screenshot by Robert J Hansen)

To prevent people from being displaced from their homes along the Stockton Boulevard corridor when UC Davis opens its Aggie Square campus, the Sacramento City Council is planning to approve $2 million in anti-displacement programs, according to a press release.

“I hope this package of programs becomes a national model for how big economic development projects can bring real opportunities and investment to communities and residents without displacing them,” said Mayor Darrell Steinberg.

Next week, the Council will approve specific spending plans for the Stockton Boulevard Housing Anti-Displacement and Housing Stabilization Programs

It’s the first $2 million of $10 million to provide housing stability for existing neighbors that potentially could be impacted.

Four local organizations will each receive about $500,000 to repair homes, help residents with one-time financial assistance for rent, utilities and other needs and assist first-time home buyers in the zip codes surrounding Aggie Square. 

Each program takes a different approach. When combined, they will provide a comprehensive, anti-displacement strategy. 

“I am proud to continue our fight to help families achieve homeownership and stay in their homes through much-needed home repair and assistance. Projects like Aggie Square can lead the way in how we can create more quality job opportunities, build affordable and mixed-income housing, and keep our existing neighbors in their communities,” said Vice Mayor Eric Guerra. 

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento will be working with residents in owner-occupied properties to address critical health and safety repairs to improve livability, and accessibility and to reduce the threat of displacement. 

Habitat will also expand its partnership with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) to provide energy efficiency repairs and electrification upgrades for qualified homeowners which will serve as many as 50 households.

“These programs will advance our climate goals by assisting homeowners transition to electric appliances and building additional fully electric homes,” said Guerra.

“Highlighting the cross-sectional impacts these programs will have on the City of Sacramento’s policy goals.”

The Salvation Army will be able to provide one-time assistance with expenses related to an unexpected life occurrence or rent, mortgage or utility assistance for up to 90 households.

Step Up Homeless Prevention will help cover one-time costs associated with getting into housing as well as assist with finding available housing for approximately 100 people.

First-time homeowners will be supported by Unseen Heroes which will work with a pool of 50 or more households to improve their credit and budgeting skills in preparation for homeownership, including partnering in providing financial literacy classes and homebuyer education.

At least 25 households will work towards identifying the path to homeownership and will obtain down payment assistance, closing costs or secondary loan gap funding from the program to further opportunities for increased housing stability and inter-generational wealth-building. 

This program will assist approximately 50 households with financial literacy, budgeting and credit repair, with 25 of those households following a pathway to homeownership.

Staff from the City of Sacramento and the SIWD Housing team worked together to survey and identify the community needs around housing stabilization, displacement, and gentrification. The survey collected results from 367 individuals within the identified community zip codes surrounding Stockton Boulevard and employees in AFSCME Local 3299, which represents employees at UC Davis.

The anti-displacement effort is part of the broader Aggie Square Community Benefit Partnership Agreement negotiated by Mayor Steinberg with the advocacy group Sacramento Investment Without Displacement and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees 3299.

“The SIWD Housing Team helped develop survey questions and advise on the types of programs to best serve communities,” said Cathy Creswell, President of the Sacramento Housing Alliance and a member of SIWD. “We are confident these programs will help residents stay in the communities they love and address historic patterns of disinvestment and discrimination.”

The displacement fund is one piece of the Community Benefits Partnership Agreement, which also included pledges for local hiring and a commitment by the city to invest in affordable housing along the Stockton Boulevard corridor.

UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May said this is another solid step in collaboration as the university is committed to community engagement.

“Our goal is that everyone should benefit from the economic advances that Aggie Square will bring to Sacramento,” said May.

Since the approval of the agreement, the City of Sacramento has committed $43.5 million in funding for affordable housing in the surrounding community, far more than its $29-million commitment. Two hundred housing units are currently under construction and another 500 will be coming soon.

Councilmember Caity Maple, District 5, is thrilled to see such a significant investment being made to provide stability for working families, keep people in their homes, and grow the housing stock throughout Oak Park.

“It’s our responsibility that as we grow as a city, we can’t allow our existing residents to be left behind,” Maple said.

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Robert J Hansen is an investigative journalist and economist. Focused on holding elected officials, police and the courts accountable to the people throughout the greater Sacramento area.

Sacramento County, CA

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