A proposal to develop a city parking lot at 444 Bryant St. into affordable housing took a big step forward when the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors recently agreed to loan $9.75 million in county funds toward the project.
The Supervisors voted unanimously to approve the loan, funded through the county's Measure A Affordable Housing bond, on Feb. 8.
The loan will go to Related + Alta, a joint effort by Related California, a for-profit multi-family housing developer, and co-developer Alta Housing. They have proposed to build 120 apartments on a 1.5-acre parking lot, Lot 12, across three buildings, each up to five stories tall, with a podium garage. Lot 12 has been used on Thursdays during part of the year for Mountain View Farmers Market.
Of the 120 apartments, 20 will be for rapidly rehousing homeless individuals and families with special needs, 20 will be for households earning up to 30% of the area median income, considered "extremely low income"; 40 will be for households earning up to 50% of the area median income, considered "very low income"; and 39 will be for households earning up to 80% of the area median income, considered low-income. The area median income is $105,900 for a single-person household and $151,300 for a family of four in Santa Clara County.
The developer also plans to have 25 of the units reserved for the Section 8 housing program with the Santa Clara County Housing Authority.
"Thanks to the residents of Santa Clara County who approved a $950 million affordable housing bond in 2016, the Board is able to approve another new wave of housing projects. This means more people, more families, and more children are getting off the streets,” said County of Santa Clara Supervisor Cindy Chavez, one of the architects of the Measure A Affordable Housing Bond, in a press statement.
Last August, the Mountain View City Council voted unanimously to lease the parking lot, which it owns, to developer Alta Housing.
The whole project is projected to cost about $115.7 million to build, according to a county report. The pricey affordable housing project is also leveraging funding from other sources. The developer has also received a $12.25 million funding commitment from the city of Mountain View, according to the county, plus Alta Housing is paying $10.1 million in upfront cash to lease the property. In addition, the developer has leveraged $8 million in state funding through SB 129 with the aid of state Sen. Josh Becker, (D-Menlo Park).
The county's loan is intended to help the developer apply for more than $46 million in low-income housing tax credits this fall, another step toward pulling together the needed construction financing, expected to come together by next spring. The loan is set to be repaid by 55 years after construction at a 3% interest rate.
“We have made a considerable dent, but now is not the time to slow down. Even as we house more people, there are additional community members at risk of falling into homelessness every day,” said Consuelo Hernández, Director of the County of Santa Clara Office of Supportive Housing, in a press statement announcing the loan for this Mountain View development as part of a $75.5 million funding package to support affordable housing construction at six locations across Santa Clara County.
“We’re going to double down on our resources to set up sustainable, long-term solutions to make sure we can offer every resident the opportunity for safe and stable housing," she added.