Hello friends! 

It is already approaching April and it seems we haven’t come up for air since January to check in and share lots of good news.

First, Our Town St. Helena (OTSH) wrapped up 2022 with a very successful end-of-year fundraising campaign. Because of your kind generosity, we exceeded our goal by 40 percent! Donations ranged from $20 to $15,000, and every single one will help us deliver housing in St. Helena. We will continue to be responsible and efficient stewards of these funds as we move forward with our housing pipeline projects. 

Second, OTSH has approximately 50 new rental apartments in the predevelopment pipeline! 

🏠 Pope Street (10 units): We are making steady progress on obtaining financing for the 5-unit workforce housing project at 963 Pope Street, and in late 2022 we submitted an application to the City of St. Helena for entitlements for a second 5-unit workforce housing development at 951 Pope Street. When completed, these two developments will look and function like one. More details to come in our next newsletter!

🏠 Fountain Court (approximately 40 units): With our partner, Burbank Housing, early project design is underway for approximately 40 rental apartments on the vacant property across from St. Helena High School. We look forward to sharing the plans with key stakeholders and the community as we get further along in the design process.

Finally, in mid-March the Board of Directors launched a strategic plan process that, when complete, will help carry OTSH forward as the organization continues to evolve and take on more projects for the town. We have very skilled board members and I am really excited about this effort; it will serve the community and organization very well!

– Jennifer La Liberte, Executive Director

The OTSH Board met in March to begin building a strategic plan for the coming years. From left to right are Justin Sterling, Ryan Heywood, Jordan Bentley, Joe McGrath, Dan Hale, Michael Caldarola, and Polly Ogden.

Local realtors support affordable housing in St. Helena

With the average sales price of a single-family home in St. Helena hovering at $2.6M, it is imperative that we support affordable housing in our community. Why? Because maintaining the small-town character of St. Helena depends on it. By following the lead of Wine Country Consultants, realtors may designate a percentage of commissions to support affordable housing in St. Helena.

“In 2022, our brokerage firm decided to set aside one percent of our commission earned for that year, and donate it to Our Town St. Helena. We believe the work OTSH is doing helps preserve St. Helena’s small-town character, which helps make our business successful,” said Wine Country Consultants agent, Jordan Bentley (also OTSH’s board president).

Thank you, Wine Country Consultants, for understanding the connection and supporting Our Town St. Helena! If you are a realtor or brokerage firm and would like to follow their lead, please contact Jennifer La Liberte at jennifer@ourtownsthelena.org or call (707) 812-9839 to talk through any questions you may have.

Did you know?

Since 2000, the median rent in California has jumped by 38%. Wages have not kept up, increasing only 7% in 23 years (adjusted for inflation).

Based on 2021 data, renters in Napa County needed to earn $37.46 per hour – 2.7 times the state minimum wage of $14.00 – to afford the average monthly asking rent of $1,948. The sample of workers listed above are hard-pressed to find a place to live in our county and town.

Napa County Offers Down Payment Assistance to Low- to Moderate-Income Workers

Housing in our area is expensive. In Napa County, the Proximity Housing Homebuyer’s Assistance Program is helping low- to moderate-income workers purchase homes closer to their jobs.

Lack of Workforce Housing in St. Helena Impacts Our Carbon Footprint

What do you do when you can’t find affordable housing near your job? You find the next best option. For 78 percent of the people working in St. Helena, that means commuting.

Our Town St. Helena is grateful to our strategic partners. We can’t do it without you!

OTSH relies on grants to support its operations and activities. We would like to publicly acknowledge and thank our generous 2021 strategic partners, without whom we cannot do this important work!

Burbank Housing
Carpy Family Foundation
City of St. Helena
Community Projects
Gasser Foundation
Phelps Family / Vineyard Fund
Mechanics Bank
Napa Valley Community Housing
Napa Valley Community Foundation
Peter & Christy Palmisano
The Prairie Foundation
Wells Fargo Bank
Windy Bay Foundation
Wine Country Consultants

Our Town St. Helena is funded by community donations and grants. 100% of all donations are used for educating the community on the need and identifying and developing a variety of housing opportunities to keep local workers, young families and seniors in our town.

Donate today.

Categories: Newsletter