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State’s end-of-year affordable housing bonanza likely to leave dozens of near-ready projects ‘mothballed’


December 22, 2023

Just in time for Christmas, the Newsom administration is preparing to dole out more than $500 million to build affordable housing, playing Santa to projects that promise to shelter low-wage school employees, veterans, farmworkers, people living on the street and other poor and middle-income Californians. 

Like sleepless children on Christmas Eve, nonprofit developers across California are impatiently waiting to find out who will receive a cut. But everyone already knows that most will be left with empty stockings. 

This is the second year the state’s housing department has bundled the applications for four of its low-cost loan or grant programs for affordable housing development into a “one-stop shop” application process culminating in a single nine-digit funding blast around the New Year. 

Competition is even more fierce this year. In July, more than 100 developers backing 240 projects with a total of more than 20,000 proposed units applied to the Housing and Community Development department’s second annual Multifamily Finance Super Notice of Funding Availability — more commonly known by its cutesy shorthand, the “Super NOFA.”