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

NEW AFFORDABLE HOUSING MADE POSSIBLE BY CITY
Building is one of several affordable housing strategies

Berkeley, California (Tuesday, October 31, 2017) - Dozens of low-income seniors have moved into Berkeley's newest affordable housing complex, one of several strategies the City uses to attract and retain people of all incomes in our community.

The complex, known as Harper Crossing, 2017-11-08 hhcs harper crossing-outsideoffers 42 one-bedroom units for seniors whose household incomes, depending on the unit, are no more than 30-60 percent of the area median income - or $21,930 to $43,860 per year for a 1-person household. It's now fully leased.

The complex, designed for those 62 and over, was built on a 0.3 acre City parcel valued at $2 million and received a $2 million loan from the City's Housing Trust Fund, which consists of federal funds, City general funds, and fees from new commercial and residential developments in Berkeley.

Helping build new affordable housing is one part of the City's affordable housing strategy, which includes rehabilitating existing affordable housing complexes and requiring developers to either pay into the Housing Trust Fund or build new affordable units.

"Building affordable housing is critical to the 2017-10-31 hhcs - harper crossing - courtyardhealth of our community," said Berkeley City Manager Dee Williams-Ridley. "When we can create a home for someone who couldn't otherwise live in our city, it speaks to our community's commitment to equity."

Perched across the street from the Ashby BART station and 300 feet from an AC Transit stop, Harper Crossing gives residents easy access to transportation - which can help the aging stay active; connected with family and friends and able to more easily access medical care and other necessary services.

The $4 million support from the City of Berkeley allowed the nonprofit developer, Berkeley-based Satellite Affordable Housing Associates, 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.

"Strategic investments by the City allows nonprofit developers such as SAHA to get local, state and federal funds," said Paul Buddenhagen, Director of the City's Department of Health, Housing & Community Services. "The result is that 42 low-income seniors now have a beautiful, permanent and affordable place to live in Berkeley."

Helping support new affordable housing complexes like Harper Crossing is just one of the strategies the City uses to create housing for low-income people.

In the past few years, the city has helped pay for the rehabilitation of units in a number of other affordable housing complexes, such as the 74-unit UA Homes, the 47-unit University Avenue Cooperative Homes, the 43-unit William Byron Rumford Senior Plaza and the 150-unit Strawberry Creek Lodge. 

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 1,300 affordable units have been created or preserved through the Housing Trust Fund since 1990.

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