The Porterville City Council took swift action during its meeting on Tuesday on two matters that should substantially help deal with the issues of homelessness and providing services for the most vulnerable in the community.

The council approved $20 million in financing to come through a state agency for an 80-unit affordable housing development to be located at 385 South E. Street. In addition, the council also approved a $175,000 grant for the Central California Family Crisis Center.

The Chicago based real estate company UPholdings is spearheading the affordable housing project. A representative from the company said the project is now fully funded and construction on the project is scheduled to begin in October. The company hopes to have the facility open by the spring of 2022.

The Finca Serena Affordable Housing project will be located on 3 acres. The complex will also feature services to help those living in the development such as computers for job searching. Input was sought on what other services needs to be provided at the complex as well.

It's planned for 40 of the units to be for housing the homeless and the other 40 units to be available to the general public. Those 40 units will be designed to be high quality, low income housing. The project is being termed as an Affordable and Permanent Support Housing Project. The project is the first of its kind in the Central Valley.

Financing of the $20 million for the project is being done through the California Municipal Finance Authority which was created to help finance economic, cultural and community development and charitable causes in cities throughout the state.

The CMFA will issue $20 million in tax-exempt bonds for the project, which will be a multi-family rental housing facility for low-income households and to provide permanent, supportive housing for those experiencing homelessness and chronic homelessness.

The city staff report stated “the City will have no financial, legal, moral obligation, liability or responsibility for the Project or the repayment of the Bonds for the financing of the Project.”

The $175,000 grant awarded to CCFCC located at 211 N. Main comes a Community Development Block Grant funded by the federal CARES Act.

CCFCC stated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has had to reduce its in-person services, close its thrift store and has also sustained a reduction in grant funding. CCFCC said without the $175,000 grant it would have to reduce staff and cut additional services.

CCFCC offers programs designed to meet the needs of victims of domestic violence, the homeless and their children.

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