Type of Project: Affordable housing for low-income families, formerly homeless residents
Address: 1100 La Avenida Ave., Mountain View
Project phase: Council committed $15 million toward the apartment complex in December 2020 and is expected to approve the project in coming months.
Project description: Located on a 1-acre parcel in Mountain View's North Bayshore neighborhood, La Avenida Apartments is a four-story development featuring 100 apartments for low-income residents who earn between 30% and 60% of the area median income, which ranges from $47,370 to $94,740 for a family of four. The project will have 64 studios and 19 one-bedroom and 17 two-bedroom units. When completed, 33 of the apartments will be available as permanent supportive housing for previously homeless residents, with case management, rental assistance and on-site support services available.
Project significance: La Avenida is the first all-affordable housing project to take shape in the North Bayshore neighborhood, which is undergoing a major transformation to replace sprawling single-story office campuses with high-density housing and offices. The project, which is estimated to cost $78.5 million, is the highest per-unit cost for affordable housing in the city to date, and is leveraging a variety of financing strategies to make it pencil out, including working with local tech company Google. The tech company recently awarded the project a $2.1 million grant through its new Launch Initiative that it developed with the nonprofit Housing Trust Silicon Valley to help bring more affordable housing to the area.
Developer: Nonprofit Eden Housing
Type of Project: Affordable housing for low-income residents, with half the apartments designated for people with developmental disabilties.
Address: 525 E. Charleston Road, Palo Alto
Project phase: Council reviewed the project in September. A formal application has not yet been submitted.
Project description:Located near Palo Alto's Mitchell Park, the four-story building would feature 50 apartments for low-income residents who earn between 30% and 60% of the area median income, with 25 the apartments designated for individuals with special needs. The project will have 39 studio apartments, six one-bedroom apartments and five two-bedroom apartments, one of which would be occupied by the building manager. AbilityPath, a nonprofit that specializes educational, therapeutic and job-training services to individuals with special needs, would be housed on the ground floor.
Project significance: The project would bring to Palo Alto the rarest of commodities — affordable housing for individuals with developmental disabilities, who normally don't qualify for supportive housing within the county unless they become homeless. The proposal stems from a partnership between Santa Clara County, which owns the site, and Eden Housing, a nonprofit developer that specializes in affordable housing. The project takes advantage of a $40 million program that the county created in 2018 to support such housing projects at various cities throughout the county. If the Charleston Road site is approved, it will be only the third major 100% affordable housing project to win approval in Palo Alto since 2009.
Developer: Nonprofit Eden Housing and Santa Clara County
Type of Project:Mix of market-rate and affordable housing for low- and middle-income families
Address: 355-415 E. Middlefield Road, Mountain View
Project phase: Under construction. Council approved the project in May 2020.
Project description: Located on approximately 6 acres in the East Whisman redevelopment area, the 463-unit project includes 270 apartments and 157 for-sale condos located in two seven-story buildings, along with 36 four-story town houses to the west. Of the rental units, 27 will be affordable for those making up to 80% of the area's median income, roughly $104,000 for a family of four, while 41 units will be available to families making up to 120% of the median income, nearly $153,000 for a family of four.
Project significance:The project stands out in that 15% of the affordable units included in the development will be available to moderate-income families, often referred to as the "missing middle" — those who earn too much for subsidized low-income housing but too little to afford market-rate units. To address this issue, the city in 2019 expanded its income requirements for subsidized housing to provide more opportunities to help moderate-income families.
LifeMoves Mountain View
Type of Project: Interim housing for homeless individuals and families
Address: 2566 Leghorn St., Mountain View
Project phase: Completed in May.
Project description: Located on a former industrial parking lot on Leghorn Street, the interim-housing complex includes 100 factory-built modular homes that can temporarily house up to 88 individuals and 12 families at a time, and up to 350 people per year.
Project significance: Using emergency funding from the state's Project Homekey grant program to get unhoused residents off the streets during the pandemic, Mountain View and the nonprofit LifeMoves turned to modular housing, which is much cheaper and faster to build, to complete the entire project in six months and at a cost of just $100,000 per unit. State leaders are now calling the housing complex a radical new template that could be used in other cities to solve a perennial problem in California. Palo Alto is considering advancing a similar project on a city-owned site at 1237 San Antonio Road.
Developer: Nonprofit LifeMoves and city of MountainView
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