A Vibrant, Affordable Housing Community for Seniors Opens in the Heart of Foster City

Grand Opening of Alma Point, a MidPen Housing development and part of Foster Square, a visionary mixed-use, mixed-income “Town Center” for seniors

MidPen celebrates San Mateo County's Affordable Housing Week with the ribbon cutting for Alma Point at Foster Square in Foster City.

MidPen celebrates San Mateo County’s Affordable Housing Week with the ribbon cutting for Alma Point at Foster Square in Foster City.

On Friday May 12th U.S. Congresswoman Jackie Speier, San Mateo County Supervisor Don Horsley, and Foster City Mayor Charlie Bronitsky joined other regional leaders to celebrate the Grand Opening of Alma Point, an affordable rental apartment community developed by MidPen Housing. The event was part of San Mateo County’s Affordable Housing Week.

Alma Point at Foster Square is a response to the tremendous need for affordable housing among the fast growing population of seniors in San Mateo County, the most expensive housing market in the nation, where seniors are increasingly at risk of homelessness. As evidence of the need, within a 2 week application acceptance period, Alma Point received over 700 applications for its 66 apartment homes.

Foster Square is in the process of transforming a previously empty 15 acre site adjacent to City Hall into a vibrant, mixed-use town center where seniors of all income levels can live, shop, enjoy amenities and public plazas, and receive quality health and social services onsite to help them successfully age in place. Once completed, along with Alma Point’s 66 affordable units, Foster Square will provide 200 for-sale luxury condominiums, 155 assisted living units, 32,000 square feet of retail space, and a public plaza. Foster Square is an age-qualified community and at Alma Point, all residents are aged 62 or older. The common areas of the Town Center will be open to the general public to enjoy as well.

“After years of envisioning and planning, we’re excited to finally celebrate the completion of Alma Point which provides 66 senior households with a beautiful and affordable home in the heart of our city,” said Foster City Mayor Charlie Bronitsky, “Housing in Foster City has become increasingly difficult for our valued senior residents to afford and so affordable housing has always been a priority for Foster Square.”

Alma Point is the result of a partnership between the City of Foster City, the County and City of San Mateo, and MidPen Housing. Foster City committed general fund dollars which served as the catalyst; the County stepped up to allocate former redevelopment agency “boomerang” funds as well as project-based rental assistance; and the neighboring City of San Mateo provided additional funds.

“We applaud the visionary leadership and collaboration among all of the public partners involved which unlocked the potential for this great site,” said Matthew O. Franklin, President of MidPen Housing. “We believe this community will become a model for housing our state’s fast growing population of seniors and it’s exciting for MidPen to finally celebrate our first development in the city where we’re headquartered.”

Over half of the funds required to build Alma Point came from the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program, the largest federal subsidy for the development and preservation of affordable housing. Since established in 1986, the LIHTC has financed the development and preservation of more than 2.1 million units in over 28,000 developments across the nation.

“Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits are a key part of the financing of Alma Point and many other developments in our area,” said U.S. Congresswoman Jackie Speier. “Any tax reform passed by Congress should strengthen the tax credit program and focus on the needs of working families.”

Alma Point provides 66 1 bedroom apartments for seniors earning up to 50% of the Area Median Income (AMI) which is $52,650 for a household of two. The community includes a computer lab, community room with kitchen, balance studio and a landscaped terrace. Located just steps from City Hall, Alma Point is in close proximity to many neighborhood amenities and community services including the Foster City Senior Wing, a public library, supermarket, and the Peninsula Jewish Community Center. Residents will enjoy a coffee shop, Falafel Tazah, Happy Lemon, and Pastries ‘n Chaat soon to open in the retail space on Alma Point’s street level owned by Blake Griggs Properties.

In partnership with a network of service providers, MidPen Resident Services Corp. will coordinate and manage many onsite programs for all Alma Point residents including educational workshops, group exercise classes, health fairs, food assistance programs, social activities and access to other community resources. Five units have been set aside for the frail elderly and two formerly homeless seniors. These residents will receive additional supportive services which include case management to address individual needs and social integration services to promote a sense of community and connection. MidPen Property Management Corp. will provide onsite professional property management.

Financing for the $28 Million development was provided by the City of Foster City, the County of San Mateo, the Housing Authority of the County of San Mateo, the City of San Mateo, Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, Wells Fargo Bank N.A., Wells Fargo Affordable Housing Development Corporation, and the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee. BAR Architects is the architect and Devcon Construction, Inc. is the contractor.