The Sacramento City Council this week approved a suite of programs designed to prevent people from being displaced from their homes along the Stockton Boulevard corridor when UC Davis opens its Aggie Square innovation campus.
The Council approved the first $2 million of $10 million set aside for anti-displacement investments in communities adjacent to Aggie Square. The anti-displacement effort – funded by the City and UC Davis — is part of the broader Community Benefits Partnership Agreement for Aggie Square.
“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.
The Community Benefits Partnership Agreement was negotiated by Steinberg, Vice Mayor Eric Guerra and former councilmember Jay Schenirer with the advocacy group Sacramento Investment Without Displacement and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees 3299, which represents employees at UC Davis.
Four community organizations will receive funding 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.
- Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento Home Preservation and Electrification Program – ($560,000) – Habitat will be working with residents in owner-occupied properties to address critical health and safety repairs to improve livability, accessibility, and to reduce the threat of displacement. Habitat will also continue to expand its partnership with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) to provide energy efficiency repairs and electrification upgrades for qualified homeowners, including two full-home gas to electric conversions. The program anticipates serving as many as 50 households.
- The Salvation Army Homeless Prevention Program ($500,000) – This program will provide one-time assistance with expenses related to an unexpected life occurrence (e.g. medical expenses, car repair, etc.) or rent, mortgage or utility assistance. This program estimates serving 50-90 households, depending upon level of need and will also refer the people it helps to the City of Sacramento’s Financial Empowerment Center.
- Step Up Homeless Prevention, Housing Coordination, Stability and Retention Program ($530,000) – This program will help cover one-time costs associated with getting into housing as well as assist with finding available housing. This program estimates serving approximately 100 people.
- Unseen Heroes/CLTRE First-time Homebuyer Loan Program ($500,000) – With this 18-month contract, Unseen Heroes 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, homebuyer education, and/or other Financial Empowerment Center referrals. At least 25 households will work towards identifying the path to homeownership and will obtain down payment assistance, closing costs and/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.
“I am proud to continue our fight to help families achieve homeownership and stay in their homes through much-needed home repair and assistance,” Guerra said. “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.”
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.
Since the approval of the agreement, the City of Sacramento has committed $43.5 million in funding for affordable housing in the surrounding community. Two hundred housing units are currently under construction and another 500 will be coming soon.