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City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Matthai Chakko, (510) 981-7008

Senior, Affordable Units Available in mid-2017

Berkeley, California (Monday, February 22, 2016) - Tuesday, February 23 will mark the groundbreaking for a new 42-unit apartment complex for low-income seniors that represents one of several strategies the City of Berkeley uses to create affordable housing in our community.

Harper Crossing, as the project on 3132 Martin Luther King Jr. Way is known, was made possible by City of Berkeley support. It will provide affordable, one-bedroom rental homes for seniors ages 62 and older.

The City supported this development with a $1.8 million loan from its Housing Trust Fund, which consists of federal funds, City general funds, and fees from commercial and residential development. In addition, the City provided the land, which was valued at nearly $2 million in early 2015. 

The City's $3.8 million support allowed the nonprofit developer, Berkeley-based Satellite Affordable Housing Associates (SAHA), to successfully apply for the other funds needed for the $18 million project. Those outside funds include federal low income housing tax credits and Alameda County "boomerang" funds as well as State of California Infill Infrastructure and Transit Oriented Development grants.

"Harper Crossing is a great example of how the City Council's commitment to supporting affordable housing leverages other local, state, and federal resources for Berkeley," said Paul Buddenhagen, Director of the City's Department of Health, Housing & Community Services.

The City's support for Harper Crossing is just one of the strategies the City uses to create affordable housing. The Housing Trust Fund provides loans for rent- and income-restricted housing. The Below Market Rate (BMR) programs require market rate housing developments to either pay fees to the Housing Trust Fund or provide affordable units. A total of 1,036 affordable units have been created or preserved through the Housing Trust Fund since 1990.

The approved design will have four stories, and includes a secure lobby and community space facing Martin Luther King Jr. Way and podium parking for residents on Harper Street.  It includes service space, a laundry room, and a central courtyard.  The site is close to both the Ashby BART and AC Transit stops, giving residents easy access to mass transit and other services. Other features designed for the senior resident population include:

  • Railings and grab bars on walkways and in common areas;
  • Easily grasped and operated door and window hardware;
  • Community kitchen with dishwasher, stove, and refrigerator for group meals and events; and
  • Wheelchair accessible outdoor gardening areas.

Completion is expected for mid-2017. Before the completion date, SAHA will make application information available at sahahomes.org. The groundbreaking will take place from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon on Tuesday, February 23.


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