Injecting more money into affordable housing projects, Google and the nonprofit Housing Trust Silicon Valley on Thursday announced nearly $ 30 million in loans for three new subsidized housing developments in the Bay Area.
The loans will support two South Bay developments, in Mountain View and Santa Clara, and part of a sprawling San Francisco redevelopment. The funds will be used to build a 100-unit apartment complex in Mountain View, a 150-unit apartment building in Santa Clara and 880 affordable units as part of the Potrero Hill redevelopment.
“Affordable housing is needed more than ever given the devastating impact of Covid-19 on our communities,” said Rebecca Prozan, Google’s policy manager on projects.
Prozan said the projects were chosen because they could be completed quickly and were close to public transportation and Google offices. “There is no better time than now to accelerate affordable housing projects,” she said.
The loans are the latest efforts by Silicon Valley tech companies to support new homes for poor and modest-income families and residents in the Bay Area. In addition to Google’s $ 1 billion pledge, Facebook ($ 1 billion) and Apple ($ 2.5 billion) also announced packages of real estate loans, grants and reservations in 2019 to cope. to the shortage of affordable housing in the Bay Area.
The $ 1 billion pledge, announced in 2019, contains multiple funds and initiatives. The Mountain View-based company spent $ 44 million on a $ 50 million allocation called the Launch Initiative with the Housing Trust. The company says the initiative will support the construction of around 1,800 apartments and houses.
Housing Trust Silicon Valley chief financial officer Julie Mahowald said the partners plan to expand the fund to reach more projects. The number of housing trust projects increased by 50% last year, and Mahowald expects it to increase another 25% this year.
The demand for low- and ultra-low-income housing in the Bay Area became more vital during the pandemic-induced recession, with many service workers losing their jobs and crowding into overcrowded apartments and rented rooms.
“We are all seeing this during the pandemic,” said Mahowald. “Housing is health.
The new projects are aimed largely at families earning less than half of the region’s median income, or around $ 50,000. All three developments are located close to public transportation and social support services.
La Avenida, located at 1100 La Avenida Ave. in Mountain View near Google, Microsoft and other tech offices, is expected to have 102 units on a one-acre plot. Nonprofit developer Eden Housing is leading the project, which will provide apartments to low and low income residents.
About a third of the apartments will be reserved for previously homeless residents, with support services available. The four-story complex will have 64 studios, 19 one-bedroom units and 17 two-bedroom units.
The apartments will replace two commercial office buildings. Mahowald said the loan, backed by $ 8.5 million from the trust and $ 2.1 million from Google, will be used for pre-development expenses.
Eden Housing President Linda Mandolini said the money gives developers of affordable housing the opportunity to acquire property in one of the most competitive real estate markets in the world. “It’s very difficult for us as a non-profit developer to compete with developers at market rates,” she said.
Mountain View City Council member Lucas Ramirez said the Eden Housing project should serve as a model for future developments with private and county bond financing. It is also an important step towards serving the homeless population, he said, “to get people off the streets and make them live in a healthy environment.”
In Santa Clara, a $ 7.8 million loan from Google and $ 900,000 from the housing trust will help developer USA Properties Fund and the Pinyon group acquire land for Tasman East.
The project on the 2300 block of Calle Del Mundo will include 150 studios and apartments up to three bedrooms. It is within walking distance of shopping and dining, Levi’s Stadium and Great America’s Amtrak Station.
In San Francisco, the fund will invest $ 10 million to bring 880 affordable housing units to Potrero Hill. The pre-development funding is expected to move the project forward through to inauguration this summer. The Potrero Hill loan will help with the phased redevelopment project at the 38-acre site, which housed social housing dating back to the 1940s.
The launch initiative had previously provided loans to two affordable San Jose projects, Alum Rock by Charities Housing and McEvoy by First Community Housing, and Timber Street by Eden Housing in Newark and Orchard Gardens in Sunnyvale.