For years we have attended one meeting after another and heard elected officials and business groups describe our housing shortfall as a “crisis”.
The ECA agrees.
On Tuesday, our Board of Directors heard a “pitch” from Dave Weller of RCX and Lacey Torkelson Smith of ABD Insurance (the Community Relations Chairperson of many years!), about a small housing project in Cotati. The “pitch” came about after an ECA Community Relations Committee Zoom meeting last week between me, Dave, Lacey and Dev Goetschius, who is the Executive Director of the Housing Land Trust of Sonoma County.
The mission of the Housing Land Trust of Sonoma County is to provide home ownership opportunities to low- and moderate-income families in Sonoma County while ensuring permanent housing affordability through the use of a land trust model. Our (the Housing Land Trust of Sonoma County, or HLT) mission is based upon the belief that (1) all working families deserve a home of their own, and (2) communities with homeowners from a broad socio-economic range are the strongest and most vibrant.
Housing Land Trust of Sonoma County (HLT) is a private, non-profit corporation established in February 2002.
During the meeting, Dev answered our many questions about the Jamie Lane Project in Cotati. This is a project that the HLT hired Steve Lafranchi to do the design on and has gotten through all of the Cotati entitlements (including the City of Cotati donating the actual land that the project is going to be built on!). They have fundraised a lot of dollars and asked us to help their vision reach reality on this small project in Cotati. There are major dollars “in the bank” and this project is ready to break ground.
RCX has the sitework contract and is handing this project to the ECA’s Community Relations Committee as our latest ECA CR project. Dave Weller will stay on as the Project Manager and shepherd this project through to completion. Also, Dave has broken the work items down in such a manner to allow ECA firms to view the work item and decide if this is something their firm can help out on. We are not asking companies to do the work for free as the HLT has done a great job of fundraising already), but rather we are asking our firms to chip in and take over a small portion of the work (materials are ALL being covered by RCX!) and provide a cost discount so we can keep the work under their budgeted amount of dollars already in the bank (around $500,000).
If several Contractors break up the work items, we believe each major segment has a value of around $40,000 to $60,000 (which includes the material-which, as I said, is already covered!!). So, in reality, we are looking for work “chunks” that would be about $15-30k in value and you would get paid that amount.
The benefit to the ECA Membership is that we would be doing something with a veteran non-profit (the HLT), veteran Engineer (Steve Lafranchi), and a City who donated the land, so they have “skin in the game”. The publicity will be big, the folks that will benefit are just the people who should be helped, and the ECA can once again toot our horn as to “who you gonna call-ECA when a crisis in the Community exists. We, because of you generous and successful folks, just “get er done!”
Again-this is “shovel ready” so we are planning on breaking ground in two weeks. Does any of the work fit for your firm? If so, please contact me, John, or contact Dave Weller directly.
Thanks-and I am proud to be a part of an organization that sees a crisis, and acts to solve it!
That’s all folks!