"It's Not Just a Housing Project"
In partnership with development team of the Central Valley Coalition for Affordable Housing and The Richman Group (forming Merced CA Apartments, LLC), along with the County of Merced, Central Valley Opportunity Fund, Central California Alliance for Health, California State Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) Program, and the Merced County Association of Governments, the City of Merced is finalizing the last funding pieces of this nearly $49 million affordable housing project that will bring new housing opportunities and supportive services to low-income families and individuals.
"The Childs Court Apartments," when constructed, will house 30 extremely low- and 88 low-income individuals and families, plus an on-site manager, for a total of 119 units, comprised of one-, two, and three-bedroom apartments. The 30 units for extremely low-income individuals are intended for permanent supportive housing to successfully help house up to 30 of our local homeless. The development will be located on a 4-acre parcel at the northwest corner of East Childs Avenue and B Street, and will also feature a courtyard-style community with amenities such as solar energy covered carports and vehicle charging stations, a swimming pool, resident gardening area, laundry facilities, and a family play/barbeque/patio area. Additionally, a 3,890-square-foot community center will include common area, fitness, and multipurpose rooms, as well as manager and service provider office spaces. Construction is expected to begin in October 2020 and finish by Summer of 2022.
Off-site, the project brings public improvements in the form of full street improvements on the entirety of B Street, including new bike lanes, repaving, street lights, new/replaced sidewalks, curbs, and gutters, crosswalks, street trees, and water main. At the corner of E. Childs and B Street, a new storm water basin will be installed, and the corner will also include a small park for the neighborhood. New bike lanes will also be added to E. 13th and E. 15th Streets, and sharrow markings will be added to D Street and E Street. Installation of the off-site public improvements is expected to finish by Summer of 2023.
Section 108 Loan Guarantee - Public Participation Process
The City of Merced, as an Entitlement Community under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), plans to use a portion of its Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnership (HOME) Program entitlement funds to this project for future years. Please use this link to learn more about these types of funds..
Related to the use of CDBG funding specifically for this project, the City intends on committing a portion of its yearly CDBG allocation for 20 years towards a "Section 108 Loan Guarantee." There are specific regulations required by HUD for the application, public participation, and public review process, which you can read here: 24 CFR 570.700 Subpart M - Loan Guarantees
Update 7/29/20: Due to an unexpected increase in construction costs partly related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the construction estimates have come in higher than expected; therefore, the City is increasing its previous Draft Section 108 Loan application to HUD by $293,671, republishing the Public Notices, and resetting the 30-day comment period to the new dates below.
All dates and document links have been updated under the "New Timeline" bolded subheading below. Old dates are noted immediately below this sentence, under the italicized "Previous Timeline" for reference and transparency.
Previous Timeline: Public Hearing notice: published 6/4/20; 30-day public comment period: 6/10 - 7/10/20; old. A Public Hearing was held on 7/6/10, which was continued to 7/20/20. At the 7/20/20 meeting, Council was informed of the developer's need to increase the project budget to meet the higher costs, and staff asked Council to continue the matter to the 8/3/20 Council meeting, in order to report back to them with new information.
Accordingly, on July 30, 2020, the City of Merced will publish a Notice of Public Hearing and Notice of Review and 30-day Public Comment Period in the Merced County Times and Merced Sun-Star local newspapers. The Notices are also posted on the Housing Division's website in English, Hmong, and Spanish.
The published Notice will provide the following information:
- The required 30-day period for public review and comment of the City's Revised Draft Section 108 Loan Guarantee application will be open from July 31 to August 31, 2020.
- Comments may be submitted beginning Friday, July 31 and ending by 5:00 p.m. on August 31, 2020. Emailed submissions are encouraged and preferred, due to the continued risk of COVID-19 transmission - please email to: email@example.com. Written comment letters can be mailed to: ATTN: HUD 108 Public Comment, City of Merced Housing Division, 678 W 18th St, Merced CA 95340; or, hand-delivered to: Housing Division/2nd Floor, Merced City Hall, 678 W 18th St., Merced. All comments must be received by end-of-day August 31, 2020 - postmarks not accepted.
- A Public Hearing will be held on August 17, 2020, at 6:00 p.m. at the Merced City Council Meeting to accept additional live public comment regarding the City's application to HUD. Please be sure to use the link at the next bullet point below to verify if this will be an in-person or virtual meeting, and for procedures and instructions for submitting comments. Interpreters will be available for Spanish and Hmong translation upon request.
- For the City Council agenda, when posted, please use this link: City Council Agendas
Where to View the Application
- The Revised DRAFT Section 108 Loan Guarantee application can be viewed and downloaded HERE.
- You may also view the DRAFT Section 108 Loan Guarantee application in person at the Merced City Housing Division, 2nd Floor City Hall, 678 W. 18th Street, Merced CA 95340, between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. except holidays and weekends.
- Due to other public buildings still being closed due to COVID-19 Public Health restrictions, the above are the only locations available to view the document at this time.