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Affordable Housing Takes on New Look in Two California Neighborhoods

Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation
Two new housing projects for low-income residents of San Francisco and Oakland, California are anything but ordinary. In fact, they look opulent by all standards. Merritt Crossing in Oakland offers 70 new affordable apartments for seniors, and Kelly Cullen Community brings 172 stately new apartments to San Francisco for low-income residents.

Both projects are the combined efforts of local architects and non-profit developers to house seniors and low-income residents in Oakland's Chinatown district and San Francisco's Bay area. These veteran organizations are no strangers when it comes to building new or renovating older buildings for use as subsidized housing.

Merritt Crossing was the combined effort of architect Leddy Maytum Stacy and Affordable Housing Associates (AHA) of Berkeley. Since 1993, AHA has built or renovated 28 properties containing approximately 1,000 units. Merritt Crossing's six-story building will provide 70 affordable housing rental units for seniors in Oakland's Chinatown area.

Kelly Cullen Community is the end result of restoring a historic YMCA building in the Bay area and turning it into 172 affordable housing apartments for low-income residents. It, too, had the benefit of experienced organizations, including Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC) and Galfand Partners, both veterans in planning and building subsidized housing. Many of the historic features of the building have been restored, including the third-floor wood-paneled corner suite which was once the office of the YMCA president but will now be occupied by the building's night manager. The apartment complex even has a rooftop deck where residents can grow their own vegetables.

The TNDC/Galfand Partners project received its funding from 13 sources to make the $95 million project happen. Merritt Crossing was the result of non-profit AHA purchasing property from a developer who abandoned plans to build condos on the same site. Both projects have provided an additional 242 additional affordable housing units to low-income residents in California areas that continue to be some of the most expensive housing areas in the nation.

For more information, visit www.tndc.org/uncategorized/tour-the-new-kelly-cullen-community/

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