A proposal to turn a municipal 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 for the project.
Supervisors voted unanimously to approve the loan, funded by the county’s Measure A Affordable Housing Bond, on Feb. 8.
The loan will go to Related + Alta, a joint effort of Related California, a for-profit multifamily housing developer, and co-developer Alta Housing. They proposed to build 120 apartments on a 1.5 acre parking lot, Lot 12, spread over three buildings, each of which could reach five stories, with a podium garage. Lot 12 was used on Thursdays for part of the year for the Mountain View Farmers Market.
Of the 120 apartments, 20 will be intended for the rapid rehousing of homeless people and families with specific needs, 20 will be intended for households earning up to 30% of the median income of the area, considered “extremely low income”; 40 will be for households earning up to 50% of the median income of the zone, considered “very low income”; and 39 will be for households earning up to 80% of the region’s median income, considered low income. the median income in the region is $105,900 for a one-person household and $151,300 for a family of four in Santa Clara County.
The developer also plans to have 25 of the units set aside 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 council is able to approve another new wave of housing projects. That means more people, more more families and more children off the streets,” said Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, one of the architects of Measure A Affordable Housing Bond, in a press release.
Last August, Mountain View City Council voted unanimously to lease the parking lot, which it owns, to developer Alta Housing.
The entire project is expected to cost around $115.7 million to build, according to a county report. The expensive affordable housing project also leverages funding from other sources. The developer also received a $12.25 million funding commitment from the city of Mountain View, according to the county, and Alta Housing is paying $10.1 million in cash to lease the property. Additionally, the developer has raised $8 million in state funding through SB 129 with the help of State Senator Josh Becker (D-Menlo Park).
The county loan is intended to help the developer apply for more than $46 million in low-income housing tax credits this fall, another step toward raising needed construction funding, which is expected to come next spring. The loan must be repaid 55 years after construction at an interest rate of 3%.
“We’ve made a huge 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 Santa Clara County Office of Supportive Housing, in a press release announcing the loan for this Mountain View development as part of a $75.5 million financing package for support the construction of affordable housing in six locations in Santa Clara County.
“We will double our resources to put in place sustainable and long-term solutions to ensure that we can offer every resident the possibility of safe and stable housing,” she added.