High-Quality, Affordable Workforce Housing on the Peninsula is Preserved and Enhanced

East Palo Alto city leaders and partners gather with MidPen to celebrate the Grand Re-Opening of Woodlands Newell

Grand Re-Opening at Woodlands Newell, a Development of MidPen Housing

October 14, 2014 — East Palo Alto, CA — On Tuesday October 14th, city and county leaders will celebrate the unveiling of Woodlands Newell, owned and recently rehabilitated by MidPen Housing. The property opens for tours and activities at 4pm and a ribbon-cutting ceremony takes place at 5:00pm at 1761 Woodland Avenue in East Palo.

In response to the tremendous need for affordable workforce housing in San Mateo County, Woodlands Newell provides 49 newly renovated, environmentally-sustainable affordable rental homes for working families earning up to 60% of Area Media Income – which, in San Mateo County, is up to $66,420 for a family of four.

Woodlands Newell was established in 2013 when two neighboring MidPen communities became one to more efficiently refinance and renovate them together. The former “Woodlands” was originally developed in 1989 and the former “Newell” was built in the late 1960s and acquired by MidPen in 1996. By 2013 they were both in need of repair and the extensive rehabilitation on Woodlands Newell transformed the interior and the exterior while adding many green building features to improve the property’s energy-efficiency.

“Housing that our workforce can afford is critically important to ensuring that the Peninsula continues to be a great place to live, work, play and raise a family,” said Warren Slocum, District 4 Supervisor for San Mateo County. “The renovation of Woodlands Newell provides 49 hard-working families with beautiful and affordable homes in this important neighborhood within East Palo Alto.”

“Our priority with the renovation of Woodlands Newell was to preserve its affordability while enhancing the community in a way that improves the lives of our residents,” said Matthew O. Franklin, President of MidPen Housing. “We revamped the community building which will benefit the many youth who participate in the educationally-based After School Program housed there and incorporated green building features throughout the property which will lower residents’ monthly utility bills.”

The upgrade of Woodlands Newell provided a new building exterior to greatly improve its appearance and seal the building envelope as well as landscaping to enhance its street front. The interiors were also completely overhauled with all new kitchens and bathrooms with new appliances, cabinetry, and low-flow fixtures, and new flooring. In addition, seismic upgrades were made to the tuck under parking; and energy-efficient features such as solar hot water systems and double-pane windows were added as well as drought resistant plants and ground covering to decrease water consumption throughout the community.

The newly renovated Woodlands Newell, 49 affordable apartments for families in East Palo Alto.

Located on the border between Palo Alto and East Palo Alto, Woodlands Newell provides six Studios, sixteen 1-Bedroom, eleven 2-Bedroom, eight 3-Bedroom, and eight 4-Bedroom apartment homes. In providing a wide range of apartment sizes, Woodlands Newell meets a range of housing needs and provides homes for a range of family sizes.  The three and four bedroom apartments provide homes for large families, which are difficult to find in the rental market.

In partnership with a network of service providers, MidPen Resident Services manages onsite services for the families and MidPen Property Management provides professional, onsite property management.

Financing for the nearly $20.8 million rehabilitation was provided by a mix of public and private entities including: the County of San Mateo Department of Housing, the Housing Authority of the County of San Mateo, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the California Tax Credit and Debt Limit Allocation Committees, Citi Community Capital and Union Bank.