Sacramento City Council approves $100M housing trust fund

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) -- The Sacramento City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a new $100 million housing trust fund.

The words “homeless are residents too” were written on T-shirts outside Sacramento’s City Hall, where those experiencing homelessness and their advocates gathered for a Tuesday rally. They were calling for improved treatment and a safe place to sleep at night.

“We could be in that situation or somebody we love could be in that situation any day,” said homeless advocate Susan Torres.

City leaders agreed something needs to be done to solve the homeless crisis in the city and they say that starts with more affordable housing.

“Our biggest challenge is affordable housing and homelessness,” said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg.

Mayor Steinberg said the new trust fund is the answer.

“This will enable us to have skin in the game as a city. And to be able to have more nonprofit developers, more housing developers in general, to come to Sacramento and say, ‘If the city is our partner, this is where we want to build,’” Steinberg said.

The money would be generated through city bonds and proceeds from a Measure U sales tax for both rental and affordable housing projects.

City leaders say the money will help fill financing gaps and speed up construction on affordable housing projects.

“This $100 million unlocks hundreds of millions of dollars in state resources, federal resources as matching funds,” said Councilman Steve Hansen.

The goal is to add tens of thousands of affordable housing units in Sacramento, with 40% of the trust fund benefiting those in the community considered “extremely low income.”

“This is going to be a deep targeting of some subsidies to people who are extremely vulnerable,” Hansen explained.

Some homeless advocates say the plan is a step in the right direction in taking people off the streets and into a place they can call home.

“It’s going to release affordable housing money without more of the red tape that it takes to get something built,” Torres told FOX40.

But others are more skeptical and say they hope the money is distributed to the people who need it most.

“We want accountability for the money -- all of the money, all the way down,” said advocate Crystal Sanchez. “I’m concerned that they’re going to put this money back into this trust and that the money isn’t going to go to the homeless where it belongs.”

Mayor Steinberg said 30% of the money will go toward efficiency projects, like tiny homes, container unit housing and modular buildings.

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