This article has been updated with the updated quote, "I can't stress enough how excited I am that we (the council) are doing this," Healdsburg Mayor David Hagele said of the acquisition.
Healdsburg is home to more affordable housing after the city worked with Burbank Housing to purchase Monte Vina Apartments, a complex with 23 two- to three-bedroom apartment homes.
The city announced the $5 million acquisition on June 5.
The deal ensures that low-income families who already reside there can continue to live there.
Burbank Housing, an additional city partner, and a local nonprofit that manages and builds affordable housing communities are the new owners of the multi-family complex on Prentice Drive.
“I can’t stress enough how excited I am that we (the council) are doing this,” Healdsburg Mayor David Hagele said of the acquisition.
Hagele said one of the most significant aspects of this step is for the city to fine tune this model so it is able to share it with other cities who may want to use the same method for adding more
He said he has been getting calls from other mayors asking how they can do this for their cities.
The acquisition process started when the city leveraged $1 million in funding from Measure S, which was a voter-approved 2% hotel tax.
The $1 million helped pay for the residential property itself and provided a $275,000 loan to Burbank Housing to manage and make repairs to the property, according to a city of Healdsburg press release.
“The remaining $4 million of the purchase price was secured through financing arranged by RCAC — a Sacramento-based nonprofit that serves rural communities — in partnership with Morgan Stanley,” stated the press release.
In a statement to the city, Burbank Housing president and CEO Larry Florin said Burbank Housing intends to do everything they can to help current Monte Vina residents stay in their homes.
“Burbank Housing’s intention in purchasing the Monte Vina Apartment community is simple; it is in deep alignment with our mission to preserve naturally occurring affordable housing in an area where many people are struggling to pay rent,” he continued. “Purchasing existing apartments means that we get to fulfill our mission — in this case, adding 23 homes to Sonoma County’s affordable housing stock — very quickly and at 50% to 60% of the cost of new construction.”
Hagele echoed Florin’s thoughts, saying the purchase is noteworthy because it does preserve the aspect of having locals being able to live and work in Healdsburg.
He added that it’s important for people to know the city’s housing action plan — which aims to increase quantity and quality of housing — is on track to meet a goal of roughly 200 units, which includes this project.
“Affordable housing not only keeps our city diverse and vibrant; it also keeps our economy healthy,” Healdsburg Vice Mayor Leah Gold said in the press release. “Restaurants, hotels, and retail stores can’t compete for staff if their employees are priced out of local housing."