A New Affordable Community Meets the Pressing Need for Senior Housing on Land Donated by the City of Redwood City

Groundbreaking at Arroyo Green Apartments, a development of MidPen Housing and an official event of HLC’s 2019 Affordable Housing Week
May 7, 2019

On Tuesday, May 7th, Redwood City Mayor Ian Bain, San Mateo County Supervisor Warren Slocum and other city and county leaders gathered to celebrate the groundbreaking of Arroyo Green Apartments, an affordable rental apartment community for seniors being developed by MidPen Housing. The event is part of the Housing Leadership Council of San Mateo County (HLC’s) 2019 Affordable Housing Week.

Expected to welcome its first residents in spring 2021, Arroyo Green Apartments is a mixed-use development that responds to need for affordable housing among the region’s growing population of seniors who are increasingly at risk for homelessness in the nation’s most expensive housing market. There will be 117 apartment homes with an 8,000 square foot child-care facility on the ground-floor, set alongside a Creekside trail in the heart of Redwood City.

“For many years, the City Council has dreamed of bringing high-quality, affordable senior housing to this location. Arroyo Green represents the fulfillment of that dream,” said Redwood City Mayor, Ian Bain. “Combined with a state-of-the-art child care facility that will benefit families in the downtown area, this project helps Redwood City achieve two of its most important goals — providing more housing and child care. When completed, I’m confident that Arroyo Green will be worth the wait, will help many people, and be a great asset to our community for many years to come.”

In a visionary collaboration, the City of Redwood City donated the land and the County of San Mateo provided 99 project-based housing vouchers to serve seniors with a wide variety of needs. All residents are low or very-low income. Specific populations include ten homes set-aside for homeless Veterans; six for seniors experiencing mental health challenges who are at risk of homelessness; and ten for medically frail seniors who are high users of public health dollars who are in need of stable housing.

“We applaud the City’s leadership in dedicating a prime downtown site for a mixed-use community to house seniors,” said Matthew O. Franklin, President and CEO of MidPen Housing. “The fact that they donated the land demonstrates their commitment and gave us an accelerated path forward to deliver much-needed affordable housing. I hope other cities will follow their lead.”

Arroyo Green Apartments will provide studios, 1 and 2-bedroom apartments to seniors earning up to 50% of Area Median Income (AMI) which in San Mateo County is $64,500 for a 2 person household.

The community is intentionally designed to support the goal of healthy living, allowing seniors to age in place and lead active, enriched lives. Residents will enjoy an open air rooftop courtyard with community garden, BBQ and seating. Indoor amenities include a community room, computer lab, fitness center, and game room. A multi-use Creekside trail will be developed on the property as the first section of an interconnected trail which will eventually lead all the way to the bay. The ground-floor child care facility includes an outdoor playground, and operations will be managed by Footsteps, a non-profit child care provider.

MidPen Services will coordinate robust onsite programs to increase resident’s health and wellness and promote social connection. These include computer classes, health fairs, food assistance programs, independent living classes, social events, and connection to community services. In partnership with the San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, residents of the six apartments set aside for those experiencing mental health challenges will also receive Case Management and supportive services to help them successfully maintain their housing. The VA Palo Alto Health Care System will provide additional services for residents in the apartments set aside for homeless Veterans. The ten medically-frail senior households will be supported through the Community Care Settings “Duals Demonstration” Program, administered by the Health Plan of San Mateo, a local non-profit health plan. This program provides less expensive, more independent housing alternatives to traditional nursing homes for low-income seniors who are dually eligible for both Medicare and Medi-Cal. It has been piloted in other MidPen affordable housing communities with great success.

Financing for the $76.6M development was provided through public and private sources including the City of Redwood City, County of San Mateo, California Department of Housing and Community Development, California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, California Debt Limit Allocation Committee, Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco and Union Bank.

The community was designed by the award-winning DAHLIN Group and the contractor is Devcon Construction.