January 8, 2019 – Hospitality House, Nevada County, the Regional Housing Authority, and the City of Grass Valley are working together to expand affordable housing in Western Nevada County by bringing the development of permanent supportive affordable housing and a day services center to Grass Valley. At today’s Board of Supervisors meeting, the Board approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Hospitality House, the County and the Regional Housing Authority to work towards developing a project that fulfills this vision through No Place Like Home (NPLH) funding. The MOU approves the three partners to pursue funding through NPLH by submitting a joint application.

Hospitality House and the County have a vision of creating both expanded workforce affordable housing and a welcoming day services center with supportive mental health services for Nevada County residents in a location near essential services such as hospitals, employment, groceries, close to other allied community partners, and that is easily accessible to transportation. Today’s approval of the MOU is a strategic initial step in a cooperative effort to address affordable housing needs and homeless services in Nevada County.

“Our community, like many across the country, has a homelessness issue we have to address,” said David Langness, Hospitality House Board member. “At Hospitality House, we’re thrilled about partnering with the County, Grass Valley and the Housing Authority to build low-income housing—because the only thing that truly addresses homelessness is a home.”

The project aligns with two of the County Board’s six top priorities: to leverage resources to address housing affordability issues through partnerships with other jurisdictions, potential developers and the housing authority; and to implement a 24/7 service pilot program under a housing first model to offer services to the County’s homelessness population. The project also aligns with Hospitality House’s mission to assist homeless residents in transitioning from homelessness to housing, and the long-term vision of providing permanent supportive housing to County residents.

“Given the challenge of securing homes for our homeless Nevada County residents, coupled with the scarcity of housing in general, there is a real need in our community for permanent solutions,” explained Nancy Baglietto, Executive Director of Hospitality House. “Once people are in homes of their own, nonprofits like Hospitality House can then provide supportive wraparound services, including case management, job training and skill building, financial planning and budgeting, nutrition education, and referrals for addiction counseling, medical care, and general education. These services are extremely difficult to provide without long-term stability.”

The State of California is providing up to $2 billion in funding statewide through NLPH for residents with serious mental illness or those at risk of chronic homelessness. If the project is funded through NLPH, funding will be used to create needed housing for Nevada County residents and help provide supportive services to the County’s vulnerable homeless populations, helping to transition them into housing. It is estimated 12 of the 40 proposed units of housing (30%) would be reserved specifically for individuals who are chronically, mentally ill and homeless.

Mike Dent, Nevada County’s Director of Child Support, Collections, Housing and Community Services said, “The County is excited to work with Hospitality House, the City of Grass Valley and the Regional Housing Authority in an effort to expand affordable housing in our community for current residents of Nevada County. This application is strengthened by this collaboration. We need to work hard to stem the tide of young families leaving our area due to a lack of housing options.”

Additionally at the Board of Supervisors meeting, the Board unanimously approved a Resolution approving an agreement to purchase 5 acres of property on Old Tunnel Road in Grass Valley as a proposed site for this housing and resource center project. SB90 state reimbursement funding will be used for the property purchase. By establishing the MOU partnership and the purchase of this property, the County demonstrates a serious financial commitment to the project and should score additional points in the NPLH application.