The Community Development Division's comprehensive approach to community development is reflected in the breadth and scope of the program areas in which it provides funding (grants and loans). The following is a description of each of the program areas in which the Division administers resources for the benefit of low- and moderate-income families, individuals, and community based organizations. The program areas range from grants for community social services, housing, organizational capacity building, planning, and physical infrastructure support.
Community Facility Capital Improvements and Public Space Improvements
MOHCD is the primary City agency that funds the rehabilitation or new construction of non-profit facilities that predominantly serve low-income families and individuals. The other sources of funds which non-profits typically access to finance the cost of construction or rehabilitation of facilities come primarily from private foundations. Because of the scarcity of funding for this kind of support, and given the priority many non-profits and funders place on supporting programs rather than capital improvements, MOHCD is committed to continuing to use CDBG funds to fill this particular gap through its community facility capital improvements program. These funds have been used to cover the cost of tenant improvements that allow service providers to expand existing services, and to construct new facilities. In addition to protecting and expanding services, capital funds are used to ensure that these facilities are accessible to all and meet health and safety standards. More Info...
Economic Advancement for Families and Individuals
MOHCD’s economic advancement program brings together legal services, case management, adult educational support, support for transitional age youth, financial literacy and asset building, social capital development, and strategic linkages through neighborhood and community centers to maximize individual and family economic self-sufficiency. Priority is given to those services which help individuals and families overcome barriers and enable them to access services, often those services which other City departments have also prioritized.
Case management services are supported that target the community’s most vulnerable populations, including survivors of domestic violence, homeless residents, immigrants, veterans, and transitional age youth. Educational support is also offered to transitional age youth and adults who need assistance to receive their GED, need English as a Second Language classes, develop life skills, and receive technology training. Financial literacy and asset building is also crucial element of this program. Financial literacy is a bundle of skills that have to be learned continuously throughout one’s life. As a person’s overall money management tasks become more and more complicated, we as consumers must understand not only how to do the basics, but also understand and master more complex financial transactions. Legal problems faced by California’s low-income community involve very basic issues of housing, family, safety, and employment— problems often caused by or exacerbated by the family’s lack of resources. A focused approach to transitional age youth is also needed. Service providers need to develop a set of minimum standards similar to what has been developed for children and youth to ensure consistency across outcomes, improved evaluation, and strategic services. Finally, social capital is also valued as leveraging the strengths within a community or neighborhood that accrue exponentially to each individual and family within that group. More Info...
Homelessness and Homeless Prevention
To specifically address the challenge of homelessness, the homelessness and homeless prevention program is grant-based and melds CDBG, ESG and HOME funding to support homeless prevention and eviction prevention programs, operating support for emergency and transitional shelters, direct services for homeless individuals and families, and supportive housing. This program coordinates closely with the Human Services Agency in particular to align its strategies.
Through this program MOHCD administers the HUD Emergency Solutions Grant program as authorized under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. ESG grants support essential services related to emergency shelter or street outreach; ongoing operations of emergency shelters; and homeless prevention services for those individuals at imminent risk of homelessness. MOHCD also utilizes HOME funds for tenant-based rental assistance for individuals and families. Finally, it utilizes CDBG funds to support program preventing homelessness and providing direct services. Homeless prevention programs focus primarily on eviction prevention, including tenant rights trainings, legal representation at eviction hearings, as well as rental vouchers and assistance with first and last month rent. Direct service programs support case management and related services to individuals and families in shelters and on the streets, focusing on those services which will maximize housing stability for those individuals and families. More Info...
Organizational Capacity Building and Technical Assistance
Through grants to technical assistance providers grantee organizations are able to access the expertise of consultants, attorneys, and experts in nonprofit management through workshops and trainings, direct technical assistance, consulting, and other formats. Access to this expertise is key to building the capacity of nonprofit staff, strengthening the systems and infrastructure of organizations, increasing compliance with federal and city mandates and ensuring that high-quality services are delivered to clients.
By funding collaboratives that bring together organizations that share common interests and needs, such as neighborhood centers or homeownership counseling programs, the program is able to foster increased cooperation, collaboration, efficiency and the sharing of best practices among groups of service providers. These funds are also highly leveraged, as they help establish structures through which the participating nonprofits build each other’s own capacities and resources.
Finally, through facilitated neighborhood planning processes, planning grants also allow for nonprofits, city government, residents and key stakeholders within low-income neighborhoods to all work together to map the assets in a community, better coordinate the delivery of essential services, foster increased collaboration between all the organizations working within that community, and to build a sustainable infrastructure and institutional framework to ensure that high quality services will be delivered to its residents in the future. More Info...