Proposed New Fund Would Boost Economic Opportunities: Residents of Golden Gate Village would be the voice in financial priorities
San Rafael, CA — Under a new proposal, residents of Golden Gate Village in Marin City will have a voice in prioritizing investments from a new fund to expand economic opportunities for those living in the 296-unit affordable housing neighborhood.
The proposal for the Golden Gate Village Resident Empowerment Fund is to be presented before the Marin County Board of Supervisors during the Feb. 28 meeting, which begins at 9 a.m. in the Board Chamber (Suite 330) at the Marin County Civic Center, 3501 Civic Center Drive, San Rafael.
The Board will consider establishing the new fund with the nonprofit Marin Community Foundation (MCF) and transferring $2 million as an initial balance. MCF will then consider making its own grant contribution, as requested by the County. The goal of MCF request is to encourage private donors to follow suit in a unified approach to enhance services for low-income residents of the village, where there is a longstanding need for investments to support new economic opportunities. A series of Resident Listening Sessions are being held between January and March 2023, ensuring that village residents’ direct needs and service requests set the priorities for how the fund is invested. Residents will also be developing the formal name of the fund.
“Through the listening sessions, village residents are giving voice to what their service needs are, how they would like to receive services, and how this fund should invest directly into their community,” said District 3 Supervisor Stephanie Moulton-Peters.
In November 2022, the Marin County Housing Board of Commissioners voted to approve a complete rehabilitation of the 60-year-old village, the largest affordable housing community in Marin. Many longstanding residents, especially among the Black/African American population, have given voice to a history of discrimination and disinvestment in Marin City and Golden Gate Village. This history stems from village residents or their descendants moving to Marin County during World War II to work in the Sausalito shipyards, experiencing first-hand government-endorsed discriminatory practices that prevented them from obtaining loans and purchasing local homes in the post-war era. The segregationally driven practice known as redlining has been illegal since the 1960s.
“Recognizing and rectifying past harms in Marin City is a top priority for me,” said Moulton-Peters. “This resident fund is one example of that.”
If the Board approves the fund’s creation and the initial allocation, County personnel and the Marin Housing Authority will work directly with village residents to develop a Fund Advisory Committee charged with establishing an expenditure plan. The expenditure plan would be based upon the service needs and requests identified during the Resident Listening Sessions, with a goal of beginning initial investments by Fall 2023.
Addressing issues of affordable housing and social equity have been major priorities for the Board of Supervisors, especially after additional economic hardships were brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. About 12% of Marin County residents identify as a racial minority, but the figure is more than 83% among Golden Gate Village households. The median income for a village resident is $10,820; the countywide figure is $142,300. The homeownership rate in Marin City is 17%, a fraction of the countywide rate of 60%. The census showed 11.2% of village residents live below the poverty line — most of them older adults on fixed incomes.
The County contribution to the Resident Empowerment Fund would originate from $5 million received from the federal government as part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), signed by President Biden in March 2021 to help the country recover from the pandemic.
To watch or participate in the Feb. 28 Board of Supervisors meeting, see instructions on the Board’s archive webpage.
For disability accommodations, please phone (415) 473-6358 (voice), CA Relay 711, or e-mail the Digital Access staff at least five business days in advance of the event. The County will do its best to fulfill requests received with less than five business days’ notice. Copies of documents are available in alternative formats, upon request.
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