Earlier in February, the State of California awarded Housing Matters a $25.29 million “Super NOFA” award, providing the final piece of funding to start construction of Harvey West Studios, a 120-unit permanent supportive housing complex that will be located at the intersection of Highways 1 and 9 on the Housing Matters campus in Santa Cruz.

The award will be given to Housing Matters by the state Department of Housing and Community Development’s Multifamily Finance Super Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) program. The program, launched in March 2022, combined state-funded multifamily housing program funds to make them accessible to more communities, more equitable in serving the lowest-income Californians, and more targeted toward achieving better outcomes for health, climate and household stability.

Governor Gavin Newsom shared regarding the announcement: “As we demand more housing to be built at the local level, it is incumbent upon the state to reimagine and modernize our own approval process. State applications that were once redundant, and overly bureaucratic are now streamlined to ensure projects are not stalled in an endless bureaucracy that favored process over production.”

“Harvey West Studios will offer a healing environment where people can feel at home within a shared community,” said Housing Matters CEO Phil Kramer. “This award is a huge win for this project, and for everyone in the community.”

As part of Housing Matters’s effort to support services and create pathways to housing countywide, the Harvey West Studios are a piece of the larger mission to provide permanent supportive housing within the community. This residence, currently in development, will provide 120 units of affordable housing on the Housing Matters campus for those who have previously experienced chronic homelessness.

Chronic homelessness is defined as individuals who have been living unhoused for a year or more, or who have experienced homelessness repeatedly, and who struggle with one or more disabling conditions.

“The evidence shows that Housing First works for people experiencing chronic homelessness,” said Tom Stagg, Chief Initiatives Officer for Housing Matters. “Harvey West Studios dramatically increases the supply of housing and has supports on-site and within the Housing Matters campus that are focused on meeting the needs of people exiting chronic homelessness.”

Harvey West Studios will include modular, ultra energy-efficient construction and feature both recuperative care and health clinics on the ground floor, as well as community space for case management and peer support services.

With the incredible addition of the Super NOFA award, Harvey West Studios is ready to begin construction. The project would not be possible without the work of partners New Way Homes, David Baker Architects, Bogard Construction, the City and County of Santa Cruz, and MidPen Housing.

Additional funding for the project was received from the Central California Alliance for Health, Kaiser Permanente, and through the advocacy of retired Assemblymember Mark Stone and Congressman Jimmy Panetta. Housing Matters is incredibly grateful for the generous support and financial contributions from individual supporters.

For more information on Harvey West Studios, visit buildingwithpurpose.org. Get more information on California’s Super NOFA program.

About Housing Matters

Housing Matters partners with individuals and families to create pathways out of their homelessness and into permanent housing. Housing Matters offers housing support services and case management as well as emergency shelter and direct services — including hot showers, public bathrooms, and a mailroom — to people experiencing homelessness. Our campus shares space with a County-operated healthcare clinic and Dientes, a full-service nonprofit dental clinic, making these services easily accessible to Housing Matters’ guests. Our case management and housing navigation services help end homelessness for hundreds of individuals and their families every year. Plans to build 120+ permanent supportive housing units are currently underway. Learn more at www.housingmatterssc.org or connect with us on Facebook or Instagram.