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Corvallis approves social service, housing funding

Corvallis approves social service, housing funding

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DevNW, a nonprofit housing development firm, received approval Monday from the Corvallis City Council to build 11 units of affordable housing on part of the former New Holland farm equipment property on Southeast Third Street. The project will be paid for with funds from the city's construction excise tax. 

The Corvallis City Council unanimously approved nearly $1.7 million in spending that will assist housing programs and social service providers at its remote Monday night meeting.

The money comes from a wide range of ongoing federal and local sources, with additional funds arriving via federal coronavirus relief funds. Also, some federal funds have been reallocated to assist with city and county COVID-19 needs.

Here is a look at the spending and projects approved. Please note that administration costs of approximately $195,000 are part of the overall expenditures:

Human services

The annual federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding will provide $233,000, with $150,000 going to the new Boys & Girls Club of Corvallis day-care program. The remaining $83,000 will be divided among the South Corvallis Food Bank ($15,000), Community Outreach Inc. ($14,000), Jackson Street Youth Services ($12,500), Room at the Inn women’s shelter ($11,500), and $10,000 apiece for the Corvallis Daytime Drop-in Center, the Old Mill Center for Children and Families and Work Unlimited.

Capital projects

The city also had approximately $445,000 in held over CDBG funding that it will spend on three capital projects and two new programs.

The biggest ticket items are $150,000 for emergency rent programs and another $150,000 that will be spent to assist city small businesses that had to cut jobs during the pandemic. Benton County also will be spending $150K for similar efforts on firms on county land that experienced layoffs.

Also approved was $65,000 for a new roof on the Van Buren House run by Corvallis Housing First, $53,000 to aid safety and security at the Boys & Girls Club and $27,500 to rehab shelter facilities of the Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence (CARDV).

CARES funding

The city also received approximately $325,000 in new money from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) funds that were part of the $2.2 trillion economic stimulus bill signed into law by President Donald Trump in March.

The CARES money will go to the Room at the Inn ($112,000), the Corvallis men’s cold weather shelter ($80,000) and CARDV ($25,000). After program administration costs the city will retain a balance of $44,000.

HOME funding

The city is moving away from using grants from the federal HOME program, but there was $85,000 left in the Corvallis account. The city will use it to support the Community Services Consortium’s tenant-based rental assistance program.

Construction excise tax

The city allocated $520,000 to DevNW, a nonprofit mid-valley housing development entity, to construct 11 units of affordable housing in South Corvallis. The money comes from the tax the council voted to implement in November 2016. The program charges 1% of the improvement value on residential construction and 1.5% on commercial and industrial, and the accrued funds must be used for affordable housing.

The DevNW project, which will be built on the former New Holland farm implement property the nonprofit owns on Southeast Third Street, includes 10 three-bedroom units for $256,000 apiece and a one-bedroom unit that will sell for $160,000.

The land underneath the homes will be held in trust and thus will not be part of the purchase price.

DevNW hopes to begin construction next fall and be completed and sold by February 2022.

The DevNW project will be the first to use Corvallis construction excise tax funds. The funds also have been used to hire affordable housing planner Daniel Mckenna-Foster.

Contact reporter James Day at jim.day@gazettetimes.com or 541-812-6116. Follow at Twitter.com/jameshday or gazettetimes.com/blogs/jim-day.

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