Special Needs Housing Program
CalHFA operates the Local Government Special Needs Housing Program (SNHP) on behalf of jurisdictions throughout California. The SNHP allows local governments to use Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) and other local funds to provide financing for the development of permanent supportive rental housing that includes units dedicated for individuals with serious mental illness, and their families, who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
CalHFA operates the Local Government Special Needs Housing Program through Participation Agreements with the following county mental health agencies:
Butte, Del Norte, Fresno, Imperial, Lake, Lassen, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Tehama and Tulare.
Developers should check with the County MHSA housing division for specifics regarding their SNHP funding availability. Prior to submitting an SNHP application to CalHFA for loan underwriting, projects must have the mental health agency's approval along with county-approved supportive services plans (a draft is acceptable at time of application).
The SNHP is an option for local governments to begin or continue to develop supportive housing for MHSA-eligible persons, and to more fully use MHSA funds for housing purposes. It was created as a bridge between the expired MHSA Housing Program and the No Place Like Home Program, which is now up and running through the Department of Housing and Community Development. There are two key dates in the transition timeline:
- January 3, 2020 – Deadline for counties to submit applications for viable SNHP projects
- June 30, 2022 – Deadline for construction loan closing
Participation in the SNHP ensures County MHSA funds are not redirected locally for other purposes. Over time counties can also roll over any residual receipt loan payments and deposit supplemental MHSA funds into the SNHP for the development of new housing opportunities and supplement expiring capitalized operating subsidy reserve (COSR) accounts to ensure a longer term of affordability for their MHSA residents.
CalHFA, the state's affordable housing lender, is uniquely qualified to provide housing development expertise and real estate lending services for the benefit of other governmental entities in the State of California for the construction, rehabilitation, and development of housing for persons qualifying for mental health services under the Act.