Journey’s End: A Community Begins to Rebuild after the 2017 Tubbs Fire
Enterprise Community Loan Fund recently provided a $2.2 million predevelopment loan to a Sonoma County nonprofit to redevelop the former Journey’s End Mobile Home park into a compact, sustainable, transit-oriented development. Burbank Housing Development Corporation is partnering with Related California to build 162 affordable homes for seniors, which will incorporate features designed to improve resident health and help residents age in place. The two organizations will also bring in a market-rate developer to add another 300 plus units of multifamily housing, neighborhood retail, and open space.
Developed over 50 years ago, Journey’s End Mobile Home Park was an affordable housing community for 160 seniors, many of whom had lived at the park for decades. In the early morning of Oct. 9, 2017, the Tubbs Fire burned through the park, destroying 116 of the homes and taking the lives of two park residents. Although forty-four homes remained standing, they were uninhabitable due to hazardous conditions and damaged utilities, and all residents were displaced.
ECLF’s investment with Burbank Housing is the first step to rebuilding the site at 3575 Mendocino Avenue in Santa Rosa. The development will provide long-term affordable housing in an area where housing costs are high, and supply was already limited prior to the wildfires.
Former Journey’s End residents will have the first right to occupy the new apartments and all units will be affordable to seniors earning 60 percent or less of the area median income. The site is directly adjacent to the Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa Medical Center, and near retail facilities including two supermarkets.
The loan was made through the Bay Area Transit Oriented Affordable Housing Fund (TOAH). Seeded with a $10 million investment from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, TOAH is a $40 million initiative to promote equitable transit-oriented development across the nine-county Bay Area. In line with TOAH’s mission, a key development feature is the site transformation from its current automobile orientation to one with a strong emphasis on public transportation and improved pedestrian and bicycle corridors.
The loan was also supported through the RXHome Fund, supported by multiple investors including Kaiser Permanente, and capital from the Tipping Point Foundation.
Burbank Housing is currently working through the entitlement process with the City of Santa Rosa. Construction is expected to begin by early 2023 with the new, affordable housing development complete by mid 2024.