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File #: 20-6335    Version: 1
Type: Consent
In control: City Council/Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency/Public Financing Authority/Parking Authority Concurrent
Final action:
Title: INCREASE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT POSITIONS TO ADDRESS COUNCIL PRIORITIES
Attachments: 1. Proposed Resolution - Economic Development Positions

title

INCREASE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT POSITIONS TO ADDRESS COUNCIL PRIORITIES

 

recommended action

RECOMMENDATION

 

It is recommended that the City Council adopt a resolution to:

 

1.                     Allocate two new full-time positions in the Economic Development Department; and

 

2.                     Authorize the City Manager, or designee, to take appropriate and necessary actions to carry out the purpose and intent of the resolution.

 

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Summary

 

Approval of the requested action will allocate two (2) additional positions in the Economic Development Department (EDD) to address increased workload and support housing and homelessness efforts, as well as key development projects. The additional positions will provide the following:

 

                     Capacity to support the increase of the affordable housing supply and develop solutions to address homelessness that are in line with the Consolidated Plan and the Regional Strategic Homelessness Plan.

                     Assist with key development projects City-wide, both residential and commercial.

 

Based on the work program and additional homelessness related activities forecasted for the department, the requested two (2) full-time positions will increase capacity in both the Housing and Economic Development Divisions. The request for the Housing Division is for a Deputy Housing Director, the other position is for a Program Manager I which will be shared between the Housing and the Economic Development Divisions, with 75% of the Program Manager position supporting housing and 25% supporting economic development activities. These two additional positions will create capacity within EDD in affordable housing production and homelessness initiatives, as well as assist with transformational development projects and real estate transactions.

 

The Fiscal Year (FY) 2019-20 cost of $70,000 can be funded from existing appropriations in the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) fund 054, HOME fund 058, and, if needed, savings in the EDD General Fund Budget. Current workload in the divisions impacted by these two additional positions exceed the current staffing levels, and EDD will need to consider supplementing with temporary contracted services in order meet critical deadlines. Contracting for such services is not a desirable option as strong, long-term leadership is needed in order to move forward housing and homelessness priorities of the Council. A Deputy Director of Housing will provide that leadership and innovation.

 

It is recommended that Council approve the proposed resolution to increase EDD staffing levels contingent on available grant funding. The additional resources will increase capacity to address strategic priorities of economic development and assist with implementing homelessness and housing solutions.

 

DISCUSSION

 

Background

 

On January 29, 2018, the City Council, during its annual goal-setting special meeting, identified priority goals for FY 2018-19. Priority goals included:

 

                     Solutions to address homelessness

                     Solutions to increase housing supply that residents can afford

                     Develop the Stockton downtown

 

In line with Council priority goals and to further housing efforts, on February 6, 2018, the City Council established the Mayor’s Task Force on Affordable and Workforce Housing.

 

On January 31, 2019, the City Council identified priority goals for FY 2019-20, which include:

 

                     Solutions to address homelessness

                     Increase the affordable housing supply

                     Develop the Stockton downtown

                     Develop business incentives, including incentive tools for underserved neighborhoods

 

Per Council’s direction, the following activities are underway to further those efforts:

 

                     Staff, in conjunction with the San Joaquin Continuum of Care (SJCoC) and County, are developing both a Regional Strategic Homelessness Plan and Stockton Strategic Homelessness Plan to coordinate efforts in addressing the homeless population in the county. This is expected to be completed in Spring 2020.

                     In February 2019, staff submitted an application for state Homeless Housing, Assistance, and Prevention Program funds (HHAP). It is anticipated that the City of Stockton will receive $6.43 million over the next five (5) years. Up to 7% of these funds can be used for Administrative activities. Awards will be announced in April 2020.

                     The City anticipates receiving Permanent Local Housing Allocation (PLHA) funds that can be used for affordable housing development activities. This will an on-going funding source, of which 5% can be used for Administrative activities.

                     Staff is also working on several transformational development projects, such as Historic City Hall, SUSD Administrative Complex, Southpointe and other Downtown developments.

 

Present Situation

 

The City of Stockton's Housing Division has been operating beyond capacity with three (3) full-time positions (Program Manager, Analyst and Project Manager).  This Division administers several Federal and State grants that assist with the production of affordable housing, funding non-profit organizations that provide public services for low-income residents of the community, the rehabilitation or construction of public facilities, as well as assist with Homelessness activities. In 2019, the City of Stockton became an eligible City for the state Homeless Housing Assistance and Prevention (HHAP) funds and the state Permanent Local Housing Allocation funds. The activities associated with these grants are above the regular assigned duties for each of the current positions, and are in line with the City's Consolidated Plan and the new Strategic Homelessness Plans, both expected to be completed this spring, as well as the Council's priorities to support regional coordination and expand or develop local capacity to address the immediate homelessness challenges. The anticipated work/tasks are above what is currently being performed in relation to homelessness activities and increased affordable housing needs. 

 

Current staff has responded as best as possible to immediate needs, such as the coordination of additional funding for the operation of additional beds at two shelter locations during the winter months, allocating additional funding for homeless related activities to assist with homeless shelter operations and applying for grant funding.  Because the Housing Division is operating at above capacity levels, this work is currently being split between the current Housing Manager and extends to include staff outside the Housing Division, including the Director and Assistant Director. Additional homeless activities have led to a reprioritization of projects, which is causing a delay in other housing programs and activities.   

 

EDD is requesting a position for a Deputy Housing Director to lead in the following principal duties: development and recommend housing and homelessness policies, as well as implementation strategies (as identified by the goals within the City's Strategic Homelessness Plan); leadership and oversight of all the Housing Division programs and projects to ensure timeliness and compliance; monitoring legislation and how these will impact the City operations; serve as secretary to and provide staff leadership and technical assistance to committees, commissions and boards; initiate and manage community engagement with key stakeholders to foster a collaborative approach to affordable housing and homelessness; seek funding opportunities to continue the City’s efforts in increasing the affordable housing stock, assist in implementing policies and initiatives to remove barriers to diverse housing options, direct administrative support staff to improve on efficiencies and ensure timely project deliverables. 

 

EDD is also requesting a Program Manager I position that will be a shared between the Housing and Economic Development divisions. The position will assist with multi-family housing developments, as well as new Homelessness Initiatives that will result from the City's new Strategic Homelessness Plan. Approximately 25% of the position will assist with Economic Development activities specific to key development and real estate activities in South Stockton, Downtown Stockton and along the Waterfront. 

 

To improve levels of service, complete projects more timely, address new and increased responsibilities, and achieve City Council goals related to housing needs, homelessness and development activities, the EDD requests two (2) additional full-time positions. The new work/tasks that these two positions will be responsible for are critical to meeting City Council priorities, related to homelessness solutions, increasing the affordable housing in Stockton, and the development of the City’s core downtown and waterfront. The requested positions will address current needs and better prepare the department for future demands.

 

The EDD will continue to monitor workload demands, resource levels, and performance standards to ensure the capacity to meet strategic priorities of affordable housing, homelessness solutions, and economic development.

 

FINANCIAL SUMMARY

 

The estimated cost of salary and benefits for two additional positions is $298,566 annually and $49,761 for the remainder of FY 2019-20.

 

Priority

Classification

Fully Burdened Annual Salary

Fully Burdened (2 Months)

1

  Deputy Housing Director

  $170,226

  $28,371

2

  Program Manager I

  $128,340

  $21,390

TOTAL

  $298,566

  $49,761

 

In addition to the staff costs above, equipment costs are expected be approximately $20,000. Sufficient funds are available in the CDBG fund 054-Program Administration/Activity Delivery in the amount of $41,000, the HOME fund 058-Program Administration/Activity Delivery in the amount of $13,000, and the General Fund Economic Development 010-1760 in the amount of $16,000. 

 

Ongoing funding for these two additional full-time positions is contingent on the award of additional grant funds anticipated through HHAP and PLHA. The ongoing $300,000 cost will grow annually with salary and benefits increases and is estimated to be $380,000 by FY 2024-25.  Grant funding is not a reliable ongoing funding source, however it should be noted that Stockton has been an entitlement City receiving Federal funding, such as CDBG, HOME and ESG, for more than thirty years.  The plan for annual ongoing funding is as follows:

 

CDBG                                            $  84,000

HOME                                            $  26,000

General Fund                     $  32,000

Other grant funding                     $158,000

 

The other grant funding sources will be appropriated upon award and staff time will be charged to the grant funds based on eligible activities. The HHAP funds are expected to be awarded in April 2020. The Notice of Financial Availability (NOFA) for the PLHA was recently released and award letters are expected between August and October 2020. 

Should the City not receive PLHA funding, the CDBG fund and the HOME fund have sufficient funds to absorb the additional position costs for a few years. Continuation of the positions into subsequent years will be subject to availability of grant funding.