Santa Rosa – Today, Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-04) joined Burbank Housing, Related California, and leaders from Sonoma County to celebrate the grand opening of Laurel at Perennial Park, a new affordable housing development built at the site of the former Journey’s End Mobile Home Park that was tragically destroyed in the 2017 Tubbs wildfire.
“The Tubbs Fire devastated our community, but in the wake of this destruction, we witnessed inspiring resilience and unity,” said Thompson. “I wrote the bill for the Disaster Low-Income Housing Tax Credits because housing was a priority after the Tubbs Fire destroyed over 5,600 structures. Today, we celebrate the grand opening of Laurel at Perennial Park, a symbol of our resilience and the importance of public-private partnerships. Burbank Housing and Related California are incredible organizations who have helped us recover, and I am glad to see Perennial Park open its doors to our community.”
Laurel at Perennial Park features 162 affordable housing units for low-income seniors, age 62 or older, earning between 30-60% of Sonoma County area median income. The affordable housing units will be part of a new mixed-income, multi-generational neighborhood with a community park referred to as “Perennial Park.” At completion, the full development will include an additional 260 market-rate units, for a total of 422 units, representing the largest single redevelopment in Santa Rosa related to the 2017 Tubbs fire, which destroyed more than 3,000 homes in the city.
Planning for this development began in 2018 when Burbank Housing and Related California partnered on an ambitious rebuilding effort by working with the property owner to redevelop the site in the wake of the tragic Tubbs fire. The development was financed thanks to critical disaster tax credits secured by Congressman Thompson.
“The rebuilding of the former mobile home park into a senior affordable housing development is an important milestone in the recovery from the devastating wildfires,” noted Larry Florin, Burbank Housing CEO. “This could not have happened without the support of the community and local, state, and federal agencies. We are very grateful to all.”
The rebuilding effort required a complex funding structure of local, state, federal, and private funding, as well as traditional debt financing sources. Financing sources included state and federal affordable housing tax credits, which were critical funding pieces for this new community.
Master planning and predevelopment efforts were financed with the help of a $1.6 million grant from Kaiser Permanente and a $2.5 million grant from Tipping Point Foundation. Additionally, the development received a predevelopment loan from Enterprise Community Partners and Morgan Stanley. The first two phases were financed with conventional debt provided by Banner Bank and Morgan Stanley, 9% disaster tax credits, Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds, HOME program funds, Section 8 Project Based Vouchers (PBVs) from the City of Santa Rosa Housing Authority, and additional soft debt from the Sonoma County Community Development Commission. Enterprise Community Partners is the tax credit equity investor for the first two phases.
“Related California is pleased to partner with Burbank Housing on Santa Rosa’s recovery effort and to celebrate the former Journey’s End residents who can now call this site their permanent home,” said Ann Silverberg, CEO of Related California’s Northern California Affordable and Northwest Divisions. “It is rewarding to see residents moving into Laurel at Perennial Park. Thank you to all of our partners who made this possible.”
A multi-phase development, phases one and two are complete, composed of 94 units and 38 units, respectively. The remaining 30 units in phase three are currently in predevelopment. Community amenities for the senior residents were primarily incorporated into the phase one building and include a community room with a kitchen, theatre room, resident lounge, and property management and service coordinator offices.