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Fremont: Affordable apartments for low-income, homeless older adults to break ground in May

Project receiving major funding from state tax credit program, Alameda County Measure A1 bond

The Irvington Senior Community Apartments will consist of 90 apartments, mostly 1 bedroom units, reserved for people over the age of 62 whose incomes are less than 50 percent of the area median income, or who are homeless, officials said. (Image courtesy city of Fremont)


By JOSEPH GEHA | | Bay Area News Group

PUBLISHED: April 7, 2021 at 6:30 a.m. | UPDATED: April 8, 2021 at 4:11 a.m.

FREMONT — Construction of a $65 million apartment complex reserved for older homeless or low-income people is scheduled to begin this summer, after the last major piece of funding was recently approved by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors.

Irvington Senior Community Apartments will be built on a 1.4-acre site that formerly housed Roger’s Camping Trailers, at 4038 Irvington Ave., near an intersection with Fremont Boulevard.

The project will feature 90 mostly one-bedroom apartments for people age 62 and older whose incomes are less than 50% of the area median income or who are homeless.

At their March 23 meeting, the supervisors agreed to spend $12.2 million from Alameda Country’s portion of Measure A1 affordable housing bond money on the project.

The city of Fremont previously kicked in about $9 million from its Affordable Housing Fund, which is fueled by building development fees.

The project is overseen by Allied Housing, the affordable housing development arm of Fremont-based nonprofit Abode Services.

Louis Chicoine, executive director of Abode, said such housing projects are badly needed in the region.

“Particularly in a high-cost market like Fremont, housing for seniors becomes more and more important because people end up in a fixed-income situation, and that fixed income doesn’t often mirror what’s available for housing,” Chicoine said.

“In the Bay Area, if we don’t help vulnerable populations like seniors, if we don’t help them with housing that they can afford, homelessness in those populations is just going to grow,” Chicoine said.

“And quite frankly, with seniors, people are just going to die earlier and earlier,” he said, noting that the stresses of living on the streets are exacerbated by age.

“I hate to be that grim, but it’s that bad,” he said.

In addition to the county and city contributions, the state’s No Place Like Home program, which aims to create permanent supportive housing, pitched in $10 million from a pool funded in part by voter-approved housing bonds, according to county staff.

But the biggest source of funding — $32 million — came from investors’ participation in the state’s low-income housing tax credit program, staff added.

“I just wanted to publicly thank the city of Fremont for this infusion of capital,” County Supervisor Richard Valle said during a brief discussion of the project at the board’s March 23 meeting. “It’s a huge investment for them.”

Alameda County housing director Michelle Starratt told the supervisors that 44 of the apartments will be reserved for people who are homeless and referred there through the county’s Coordinated Entry System. The rest will be rented to qualified people who apply through the county’s affordable housing application portal.

Chicoine said a groundbreaking could occur in May.

“It takes way too long, but we’ve finally gathered all the funding that’s necessary,” Chicoine said.

Abode and Allied have done or are doing several other projects in the city including Laguna Commons, completed in late 2016 across the street from where the senior apartments are planned.

In Centerville, Allied’s 59-unit City Center Apartments is about three months from completion, Chicoine said.

Allied is also planning to build 54 units on a 1.4-acre parcel in Fremont’s Northgate neighborhood at the northeast corner of Fremont Boulevard and Paseo Padre Parkway. That project is slated to receive almost $8.5 million in Measure A1 regional funds, according to county housing specialist Robert Fuller.


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