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The Central Valley secures $120 million in vital funding for flood recovery and restoration along with affordable student housing at UC Merced and Merced College

Joint partnership between Assemblywoman Soria and Senator Caballero has resulted in major support for the region

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO – Assemblywoman Esmeralda Soria (D-Merced) and Senator Anna Caballero (D-Merced) are proud to announce that Senate District 14/Assembly District 27 have jointly worked to provide $20 million in much needed funding to support the recovery and restoration of the Planada community. In addition, their joint collaboration with UC Merced and Merced College has resulted in $100 million in full funding for an innovative student housing project which will provide the opportunity for students to live on campus to continue their higher education at Merced College and UC Merced.

Merced County has recently faced several emergency situations, including devastating flooding which impacted the unincorporated community of Planada in January of this year. Fortunately, due to Assemblywoman Soria and Senator Caballero's partnership with district organizations like Valley Onward, UC Merced, and the Leadership Counsel for Justice & Accountability, the district will receive $20 million for Planada Flood Recovery. As addressed by the Planada Community Needs Assessment authored by UC Merced Community & Labor Center in April, this level of funding will serve to address the financial loss caused by the floods: vehicle damage, home remediation, damaged furniture and appliances.  

The UC Merced Disaster Response: The Planada Flood, Federal Policy Gaps and Unmet Community Needs report states: “While a large proportion of Planada’s population is non-citizen and likely undocumented – and therefore may be ineligible for Unemployment Insurance and federal disaster aid – state-level reforms addressing these two issues goes a long way in closing the gaps in existing federal disaster response.”

The California State Budget also includes $100 million for the Promise Housing Initiative, an affordable housing project. Promise Housing will be a part of the Merced Promise transfer program, which helps Merced College students transfer to UC Merced. UC Merced and Merced College will receive $50 million each to ensure  affordable housing at UC Merced, with a rate of $596 per bed. Promise Housing will become the first and only Intersegmental Affordable Student Housing Facility in the San Joaquin Valley.

“Our mostly-farmworking community of Planada has faced immense distress from devastating flooding. This funding will help provide much-needed home and vehicle recovery assistance,” said Assemblywoman Soria. “I am also happy to see funding allocated to foster our Central Valley students’ accessibility to higher education through low cost housing.”

 “I am grateful to Governor Newsom and his team for their support of our community. The partnership with Assemblywoman Soria has thus far resulted in the creation of the distressed hospital loan program, funding to help the recovery and restoration of the Planada community, and more housing for our students attending Merced College and UC Merced,” said Senator Caballero. “I look forward to our continued collaboration to ensure a bright future for the Central Valley.”


For interviews or inquiries, please contact: (916) 319-2027 (Assemblywoman Soria)  at 916-651-4014 (Senator Caballero)


Assemblywoman Esmeralda Soria represents the 27th Assembly District which includes communities in Fresno, Madera, and Merced counties.

Senator Anna M. Caballero represents the 14th Senate District, composed of majority portions of Merced, Fresno and Madera Counties.

* Senator Anna M. Caballero serves as the Interim Representative for the Salinas Valley and San Benito County until 2024 when a newly elected Senator will assume the district