U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Office of Community Planning and Development

Consolidated Plan Contact


Contra Costa County Consortium's 1995 Consolidated Plan constitutes a strategic vision and strategy for community development in the Consortium area. This document summarized the plan so that citizens in the community can have a quick overview of the Consortium's housing and community development problems; the 5-year broad goals, strategies, and actions proposed to deal with those problems; and specific projects for carrying out this strategy during 1995.

Action Plan

The Consolidated Plan also includes an action plan constituting an application for funds under three different HUD formula programs for a total of $6,558,000. Assistance per program is: Community development Block Grant (CDBG) - $4,117,000, HOME Investment Partnership Act - $2,313,000, and Emergency Shelter Grants - $128,000.

Citizen Participation

Two public hearings were held to obtain input into housing and community development needs of the Consortium (November 15, 1994, and January 23, 1995). Also 327 individuals and private and public agencies were contacted to obtain information on current and planned housing and community development programs and services. In addition to staffing two public hearings, administering surveys, and providing a draft plan for review, Consortium members also participated in numerous public forums and planning processes for various special needs groups, including: the Contra Costa County HIV planning Council AIDS forum; the Association of Housing and Homeless Service Providers; the Farmworker Housing Task Force; the Tri-Valley Affordable Housing Committee; and the Contra Costa Conference on Homelessness.


Contra Costa County lies within the eastern portion of the San Francisco metropolitan area. The County consists of three distinct geographic areas: West County, an area along the shoreline of the San Francisco and San Pablo Bays extending to the East Bay Hills; Central County, the flat valley area between the East Bay hills and the Diablo Range to the east; and East County encompassing the southern shoreline of the Suisun Bay and Sacramento River and much of the hilly terrain of the Diablo Range. The county has grown from a rural agricultural county of less than 20,000 residents at the turn of the century, to an urban county of over 800,000 persons in 1990. Total population for the consortium is 716,000 persons, only the city of Richmond is not included in the consortium.

The distribution of households for the consortium is as follows: seventy-four percent is white (non-Hispanic), eleven percent is Hispanic, nine percent is Asian & Pacific Islanders, five percent is Black, and less than one percent is Native American.



Approximately 38 percent or 102,000 households have at least one housing problem Renters have a higher incidence of housing problems than owners. Of the 46,000 low and moderate-income renters, 74% have one or more housing problems and 69% have housing cost burdens in excess of 30% For the 45,800 low and moderate-income owners, 50% have housing cost burdens in excess of 30% Another measure of housing need is provided by ABAG which estimates that 8,600 housing units are needed by very low-income households, and 6,200 units by low-income households. The consolidated Plan focuses on meeting the housing needs of the very low- and low-income households.

Housing Objectives

Approximately 3,800 units of housing are needed in the next five years for rental and owner housing units for low and moderate income families.

Housing Market Conditions

There is a total of 281,650 housing units in the consortium area, of this number 5% or 14,100 units are vacant, including 6,000 units vacant for rent and the remainder available for sale. There is a higher percentage of studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom rental units available and a lower percentage of three or more bedrooms. Consequently, it is more difficult to locate a house or apartment with more than two bedrooms which can be a significant problem for larger families on limited incomes.

Affordable Housing Needs

Less than 20% of the rental stock in the consortium is affordable to very-low income renter households earning 50% or less of the area median income, and less than 4% of the owner- occupied housing units is affordable to very-low income households. Approximately 2,200 units are available at for very low-income households if they were to pay 30% or less of gross income for gross housing costs.

Homeless Needs

Based on statistics from County and State welfare records on homelessness, in 1994 the County had 15,000 persons who experienced an episode of homelessness, including 4,000 families. However, there is no exact information on the distribution of the homeless within the consortium and no records have been kept by the shelters on the number of persons turned away due to overcrowding.

Public and Assisted Housing Needs

The Housing Authority of Contra Costa County (HACCC) Section 8 waiting list(open from June through August) has 3,966 certificates and vouchers currently in the County and 4,785 on the waiting list for rental assistance. In addition, there are 1,140 public housing units and 5,646 names currently on the waiting list. The City of Pittsburg Housing Authority has a waiting list of 557 households for 653 Section 8 Certificates and Vouchers, and the Housing Authority of San Pablo has 195 persons on its list for 141 public housing units.

Barriers to Affordable Housing

Market factors, such as the high cost of land suitable for residential development and high construction costs, tend to be the most significant constraints on the development of affordable housing in the Consortium area.

Lead-Based Paint

The consortium is in the process of defining the nature and magnitude of the presence of lead-based paint in the older housing stock. A task force will be created to define the problem and develop cost-effective abatement strategies. Currently the Housing Authority of Contra Costa County is in the process of completing lead-based paint abatement for all public housing development. This work is expected to be completed in 1997. The San Pablo Housing Authority has completed its abatement activities for all public housing units under its jurisdiction.


Housing Priorities

The Consortium Five-Year Strategy for 1995-99 establishes the following priorities for affordable housing programs and projects:

Non-Housing Community Development Priorities

Non-housing community development needs are those services and projects that provide for a safe and livable environment as identified by the community. These include, but are not limited to, child care services, food programs, youth enrichment, job training and placement and violence prevention programs. Projects include infrastructure improvements such as sidewalk and street, and structural and code improvements to facilities.

Anti-Poverty Strategy

The County employs a variety of strategies to help alleviate poverty, including efforts to stimulate economic growth and job opportunities and provide County residents with the skills and abilities required to take advantage of those opportunities. These include holding a Countywide Economic Summit to discuss means of retaining, expanding and attracting business; funding job creation and commercial revitalization efforts using a combination of CDBG and RDA resources; a job training project to create employment opportunities in North Richmond for the disabled and homeless; and two supported employment projects to provide expanded job opportunities for low-income urban county residents. Also;, the Consortium's strategies to increase and maintain the supply of affordable housing and to achieve an improved jobs-housing balance also contribute to the alleviation of poverty by creating a more positive business environment.

Housing and Community Development Resources

The Consortium anticipates that $32.7 million will be available from the following sources to assist in programs and projects to maintain and increase the supply of affordable rental housing during FY 1995-1999: HOME Investment Partnership Act Program; Community Development Block Grant Program; Housing Opportunities for People with AIDs Program; Emergency Shelter Grant Program; and City and County Redevelopment Agency Housing Set-Aside funds. It is further estimated that an additional $17.6 million will be available to assist households in acquiring and maintaining owner-occupied housing, while approximately $9 million will be available to assist homeless populations. These funds will come from various Federal, State and Local programs such as the Mckinney Act funds, and local general funds and private investment and donation. In addition, both Private profit and non- profit sources will be surveyed to provide financial assistance.

Coordination of Strategic Plan

Identification of housing and community development needs is accomplished through public participation at municipal advisory councils and the Board of Supervisor and City Council appointed committees. The block grant process for the Urban County, through periodic public meetings, provides for ongoing public input on changing needs and services.


Description of Key Projects

For 1995, the County will continue to emphasize programs and activities to:

  1. Maintain and rehabilitate the existing affordable housing stock in conjunction with the Housing Authority of Contra Costa County by providing low- and zero-interest deferred loans for the rehabilitation of rental units affordable to this group throughout the county. The Housing Authority also provides low-interest deferred loans which require a match from private resources, to improve the quality of rental housing in target areas characterized by rent levels which are expected to remain affordable to lower income families. Target areas include but are not limited to Brentwood, Crockett, Marinez, San Pablo, North Richmond, Rodeo, and Bay Point. For 1995, an estimated $200,000 in County CDBG funds, $25,000 in program income, and $20,000 in Housing Authority resources will be utilized. The owner- occupied housing rehabilitation program, operated by the County's Building Inspection Department, will assist very-low and low-income households to maintain and rehabilitate their residence through the provision of below market and zero- interest loans. Five cities and 15 unincorporated areas of the County have been selected as target areas. Lower-income homeowners residing throughout the Urban County with exception of the City of San Pablo are eligible. The City of San Pablo has its own rehabilitation program. $200,000 in funding will be provided by CDBG funds and $400,000 in CDBG Program income from the Neighborhood Preservation/CDBG Program. In addition to these activities, the Cities of San Pablo and Pleasant Hill operate rehabilitation programs for very-low, low-, and moderate- income homeowners. Funding set asides for these communities total $190,000 and $80,000 respectively.
  2. In addition to maintaining the supply of affordable housing, CDBG and HOME funds will be used to increase the supply of affordable rental and owner-occupied housing for very-low and low-income households. Uses of CDBG funds in support of housing construction include site acquisition, site clearance, and on site improvements. CDBG and HOME funds also will be used to leverage the City and County Redevelopment Agency resources, low-income housing tax credits, and other public and private resources to achieve the level of funding required to implement eligible housing projects. Specific projects include: 50 units of privately constructed multifamily rental housing in the Bay Point Development Project Area sponsored by the BRIDGE Housing Corporation ($300,000 in 1995 CDBG funds); 32 units of affordable multifamily housing in the Rumrill Park Affordable Housing project in San Pablo sponsored by the Lao Family Community Development (applying for $2,000,000 under the low -income housing tax credits); and 184 units of transit- based rental housing to be developed at the El Cerrito BART Station by the City of El Centro, BART and a non-profit developer ($100,000 in 1995 County CDBG funds will be used to assist in development).
  3. The County is also working to provide for the housing needs of the County's special needs populations, including the elderly, mentally and physically disabled, battered and abused women and children, recovering substance abusers, large families, female-headed households, persons with HIV/AIDS, and low-income farmworkers. Specific projects for 1995 are: build a 40-unit apartment complex for very-low income elderly households to be developed by the Rural California Housing Corporation in the City of Brentwood ($265,000 from County CDBG, $2.9 million from Section 202, and $302,000 from the Brentwood Redevelopment Agency); Battered Women's Alternatives will rehabilitate an existing 13-unit transitional housing facility in Central County ($16,500 in 1995 CDBG funds); and the County will complete the acquisition of the currently operating Central County shelter to provide emergency shelter for homeless adults and undertake additional renovation ($120,000 committed from 1995 County CDBG funds).

In addition to the housing projects, the County will undertake the distribution of 1995 CDBG funds for :

    Economic Development

    Open Projects

    Public Service Programs


MAP 1 depicts points of interest in the jurisdiction.

MAP 2 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas.

MAP 3 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration levels.

MAP 4 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and unemployment levels.

MAP 5 depicts low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects; in addition, a table provides information about the project(s).

MAP 6 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded project(s) from a street level vantage point.

For additional information regarding the Contra Costa County 1995 Consolidated Plan Executive Summary, please contact:

Kathleen Hamm, Senior Economist,
Contra Cost County Community Development Department
Telephone number: (510) 646-4208

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