On Wednesday, the Agrihood Affordable Housing Project in Santa Clara held its grand opening. Developed by the CORE Company, this 361-unit mixed-income project geared towards seniors is arguably the most creative and high-profile new affordable development to come online in years. The Agrihood is on the site of an old agricultural research facility run for decades by the University of California; after years of multi-interest community discussions, the new development includes a 1.5-acre working farm. It is also across the street from a supermarket, at the intersection of two VTA lines, just a short walk from Valley Fair and Santana Row, and includes retail space and extensive community space.
The great news is that the Agrihood is part of a wave of new affordable housing developments opening this year; these are the fruits of our shared commitment to invest in housing around the county.
Santa Clara, in particular, is having a busy year. Monroe Commons, the 65-unit project developed by Freebird, is also leased up and ready to open. It includes the first set aside for developmentally disabled adults to leverage special Santa Clara County development funds. Also actively leasing are the Kifer Senior Apartments with 80 units, and the 196 units at St Anton on Tazman. This string of openings follows the opening of Phase I of RCD’s Bella Vista Motel Homekey project on El Camino, which will eventually include 120 new affordable homes.
San Jose is chalking up some big openings itself. April marked the opening of the 82-unit, Page Street Studios, developed by Charities Housing, which is a significant part of the affordable housing strategy for the West San Carlos Urban village. Earlier this Summer, Charities Housing also opened the Blossom Valley Senior Apartments, a 147-unit development in southwest San Jose.
In June, San Jose celebrated the grand opening of Eden Housing’s Mesa Terrace in Almaden, which includes 46 homes for families and transition-aged youth. In August, Villas at 4th Street, developed by PATH with 94 units, opened closer to downtown. These openings will be followed this Fall by the Vitalia, developed by Affirmed Housing on South Bascom Ave.
Morgan Hill is also seeing the first wave of an unprecedented number of market-rate and affordable projects moving forward. Affordable developments opening this year include the 249-unit Jemcor project at Monterey and Madrone Parkway, and the Royal Oak Village development on Watsonville Road, near the intersection of Monterey Road. Royal Oak Village marks a crucial milestone for Santa Clara County– 36 of its 73 affordable rental units will be reserved for local farm workers.
By the end of 2023, Santa Clara County will see around 2,000 new affordable homes come online in a single year. These successes are not an accident; they are the result of committed city staff and the tenacious commitment of affordable housing professionals. It is also harvesting the investments in state and local policy changes that have streamlined development, and funding commitments, including the County’s Measure A. Looking at projects currently under construction, 2024 may be an even bigger year.