City Staff Elevates Salinas Housing Work with D.C. Officials at NCDA Conference

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News Date: 
February 7, 2018
Staff presents at NCDA conference

City staff from the Community Development Department attended the Winter National Community Development Association (NCDA) Conference in Washington D.C. from January 24-26th. NCDA is a non-partisan, national non-profit membership-based organization that represents local government departments across the country that administer federally-supported community and economic development and affordable housing programs. NCDA is an association of people committed to assist local governments to achieve high quality, locally-responsive programs for making communities better places in which to live and work, particularly for low and moderate income people. Anastacia Wyatt, Planning Manager was selected to be on the Board of Directors of this organization and attended the semi-annual Board Meeting. Ms. Wyatt was also asked to present on the City’s award winning Community Housing Development Organizations that include: the Monterey County Housing Authority Development Corporation (HDC), Community Housing Improvement Systems and Planning Association, Inc. (CHISPA) and MidPen Housing. The three Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDO) assist the City of Salinas in building developments that provide much needed housing to extremely low-income, low- and moderate-income families and individuals. Salinas’ CHDOs kept development going after the recession and continued to build the only low-income developments over the past 10 years. The City’s partnership with these incredible organizations is a model for other communities. CHDOs and non-profit developers are able to create additional housing and meet a federal spending requirement that ensures additional federal funding continues to come to local governments. In the past few years, HCD and MidPen have brought in over $104 million in investment to the Chinatown area and 280 units of extremely low-income, supportive housing and low and moderate-income units.

Community Development Analyst, Francisco Brambila, met with the City’s lobbyist, Kyriakos Pagonis, in DC to meet with Senator Dianne Feinstein’s office and Legislative Assistant, Brent Palmer, on January 23rd to detail the City’s efforts utilizing federal HUD funds. The City highlighted the multitude of projects funded through HUD including public works, housing and public service projects.

Mr. Brambila, along with fellow Community Development Analyst Luis Ochoa and Anastacia Wyatt met with local Congressman Jimmy Panetta, on Jan 24th to detail federally funded projects and local planning efforts including: Vision Salinas, the City’s Farmworker Housing Study, the Chinatown Revitalization Plan, the upcoming General Plan update, the Alisal Vibrancy Plan and the City’s update of the Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing that are all underway. City Staff met with Panetta’s Legislative Assistant, John Assini, who knew about many local efforts and welcomed the City’s input.

It is recommended that Cities update local and State legislators on how federal dollars are spent and detail how those dollars are used in a community. The City of Salinas celebrates National Community Development Block Grant week annually in April and lets our representatives in the House and Senate know the accomplishments made by the City with the Federal dollars. During budget and appropriation time, this information helps guide future funding decisions and ensures Federal programs remain strong in the Community of Salinas and elsewhere.