Development Process


What is affordable housing?

According to the federal government, housing is considered "affordable" if the cost of rent and utilities combined accounts for no more than 30% of household income. For a person with a monthly income of $1,170.00, an affordable rent would be $351.00 per month.

There are no apartments to rent at that rate in Napa. Market rate rents in the County range from $1,100-$1,450 per month for a two bedroom apartment. Three bedroom homes average about $2,000. With a vacancy rate of less than 5%, competition for available units is high, and in response, area rents have increased dramatically.

NVCH properties, in contrast, offer reduced rents, based on agreements made with government agencies that provide project funding in exchange for the agency's guarantee that rents will be kept at affordable levels.


What are our funding sources?

Contributions and Foundation Grants:

To operate our agency we rely heavily on contributions in the form of grants and donations from individuals and businesses.

Management and Developer Fees:

We get some fees to cover operating expenses from managing low-income properties and from building new rental units.


With each property we develop, we put together 5-6 different sources for funding…whether the project requires purchasing land and building new rental homes or apartments or acquiring and renovating existing units. We have a small first mortgage, which helps keep our payments low, and we rely on federal and state deferred loan programs. We get investor dollars through a special tax credit program. After these sources are exhausted, an additional funding gap may exist. For those dollars, we rely on local government, either city or county monies.


How can NVCH offer affordable rents?

As a not-for-profit agency, we receive funding to support our programs from many sources. Projects are financed partially with subsidy monies that need not be repaid. For this reason we need not depend exclusively on rental income to cover costs required to develop, maintain and manage our rental properties.

What does a typical project cost?

Our development projects range in cost from about $4 million for an apartment acquisition and rehabilitation, to about $30 million for the construction of a new 100-unit family apartment complex. Broken down, that translates into between $250-300,000 per unit for acquisition and rehab projects and $250-300 per square foot for new construction.