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Deadline crucial for Santa Rosa affordable housing project extended

A Sonoma County affordable housing project faces a more secure future after the state Legislature moved this week to extend a deadline crucial to the $22 million project, retaining $3.8 million in state funding.

The project in question, Catalina Townhomes on Dutton Meadow, will contribute 60 affordable housing units to Santa Rosa. Burbank Housing is building it in collaboration with the city of Santa Rosa and expects to complete the project by the end of 2016.

But because the project experienced delays attributed to the 2008 financial crisis, it risked losing a $3.8 million grant from the California Department of Housing and Community Development that expired this June, said Chuck Cornell, executive director for Burbank Housing.

To address the problem, Assemblyman Jim Wood, D-Healdsburg, introduced an amendment in the Assembly budget subcommittee to extend the grant for this and similar projects for two years. This week, both the Senate and Assembly committees approved the extension, making it part of the proposed budget expected to be approved next month.

“We’re very happy, we’re very relieved,” Cornell said. “Our state officials have been really responsive. It’s been really nice to see.”

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