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Petaluma’s MidPen affordable housing move-in expected for fall 2023

Petaluma officials have announced the start of construction for a new affordable rental apartment community, which will prioritize units for families and individuals in marginalized communities.

In a May 26 ceremony at the 414 Petaluma Blvd. N. site, local leaders unveiled the new MidPen Housing project deemed 414 Petaluma , which costs more than $35 million and will provide 44 affordable rental apartments. Those will include 18 units designated for farmworker families and at least 13 for residents who are at risk of or currently experiencing homelessness.

Mayor Teresa Barrett, who spoke at the groundbreaking event, said she “couldn’t be happier to see this project” take flight.

“It is exactly the kind of housing we desperately need but that commercial builders desperately avoid,” Barrett said in a Tuesday afternoon text message. “This is so well located, an easy walking distance from public transportation options, grocery stores, jobs and the downtown.”

The affordable housing community on Petaluma Boulevard North includes two studios, 19 one-bedroom, 12 two-bedroom and 11 three-bedroom apartment homes for households earning between 30% and 60% of the area’s average median income. In 2019, Petaluma’s median household income was more than $91,000, according to census data.

Community amenities will include a community room, bicycle storage and outdoor recreation areas.

MidPen Housing, which has developed over 100 affordable housing communities and 8,500 homes for low-income families in Northern California, will also offer on-site case management and programs “designed to empower residents to seek economic mobility, educational opportunity, and mentally and physically healthy lives.”

Residents are expected to be able to move in by fall of next year. MidPen will start accepting applications about six months prior to the estimated move-in, which will include a screening and qualification process, said city housing manager Karen Shimizu in an email.

“We are beyond excited for the opportunity to work with MidPen on this essential housing development for our community,” said Petaluma City Manager Peggy Flynn in an announcement posted to the city of Petaluma website. “414 Petaluma is an integral part of our city commitment to provide a pathway to housing for those experiencing housing instability.”

Financing for the $35.1 million development is supported through the city of Petaluma, Sonoma County Community Development Commission, Sonoma County Housing Authority, California Department of Housing and Community Development, California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, Bank of America and California Community Reinvestment Corporation.

The project is also utilizing more than $3.5 million in funds from the California Department of Housing and Community Development’s “No Place Like Home” program, which has, since 2016, funded permanent supportive housing projects through bond revenue for people in need of mental health services and experiencing homelessness.

It also received more than $2 million in financial support from the Joe Serna, Jr. Farmworker Housing Grant for its farmworker-specific units.

Additionally, the Sonoma County Housing Authority is granting 16 project-based housing vouchers to local residents moving into the units, covering housing costs totaling more than $5.8 million over 20 years, according to a project funding report posted to the city website on July 20, 2021.

Amelia Parreira is a staff writer for the Argus-Courier. She can be reached at amelia.parreira@arguscourier.com or 707-521-5208.

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