• Date: 10/18/2023

The California Department of Housing and Community Development has announced a grant of $2,699,407 to the Humboldt County Association of Governments (HCAOG), in collaboration with two community-based partners, McKinleyville-based nonprofit We Are Up, and the Humboldt Transit Authority (HTA).

Under the grant, We Are Up will receive over $1.2 million in infrastructure support, and Mary Keehn, Founder of We Are Up, will donate the 15.4 acres of land on which We Are Up will be located. This will position We Are Up to move forward with the design and implementation of its groundbreaking project, a unique housing and community development model that will offer permanent housing, income opportunities, and mutual support systems for low- and moderate-income adults with and without disabilities. A core tenet of this project is to “build community” and help transform the concept of “affordable housing.” We Are Up will be one of the first communities of its kind in the nation. As an infill development project, which is expected to be 50 units, the project’s location offers many amenities within walking distance and has good access to transit, reducing the need for residents to have access to a private vehicle.

In addition, the grant will expand transit choices throughout McKinleyville by piloting a program for on-demand microtransit served by zero-emission vehicles. The microtransit will offer on-demand in-town trips and connections to the intercity bus. It will be the first of its kind in Humboldt County and will be a model for microtransit in other areas with high potential for infill but without the population density for fixed-route transit.

The grant represents a laudable public/private partnership between HCAOG and We Are Up and has the potential to bring national recognition to McKinleyville and Humboldt County.

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