Much Needed Affordable Housing for Seniors Comes to Downtown Monterey

Grand Opening of Van Buren Senior Housing, an example of the kind of communities that Proposition 1 and Proposition 2 will help create

City and County leaders cut the ribbon to Van Buren Senior Housing, 19 affordable apartments for seniors in Monterey.

On November 2nd, Monterey Mayor Clyde Roberson and Manny Gonzales, Executive Director of the Housing Authority of the County of Monterey joined other city and county leaders to celebrate the Grand Opening of Van Buren Senior Housing, an affordable rental apartment community developed by MidPen Housing.

Van Buren Senior Housing is a response to the tremendous need for affordable housing among the growing population of seniors in Monterey County where skyrocketing rents render many seniors at risk of homelessness. Today, one in six Monterey County residents is over the age of 60. By 2030, it is anticipated that number will grow to one in four. As evidence of the need, Van Buren received 393 applications over a one week period for its 19 apartment homes.

The event highlights the value of state Propositions 1 & 2 which, if passed in November, will create more communities like Van Buren Senior Housing for seniors as well as working families, children, veterans, and people with special needs.

“The need for affordable housing is clearly one of the most significant issues we face today, particularly among our valued senior community members,” said Monterey Mayor Clyde Roberson. “So we’re thrilled to celebrate the Grand Opening of Van Buren Senior Housing which provides 19 affordable homes for seniors today and is a great example of the types of communities that Proposition 1 will help create in the future.”

Van Buren has transformed a previously underutilized site one block from City Hall into a high-quality housing community for seniors. The community also includes an outdoor courtyard, a community room with a kitchen where residents can gather, and a fitness center. Ideally located in downtown Monterey, Van Buren residents are a short walk from parks, a library, a major transit center, a large grocery store, restaurants and retail.

“We’re proud to expand our portfolio with Van Buren Senior Housing, MidPen’s first development in the City of Monterey,” said Jan Lindenthal, Chief Real Estate Development Officer of MidPen Housing. “By setting aside this prime site to provide housing that’s affordable to their growing population of seniors, the City has demonstrated a clear commitment to affordable housing solutions for people of all ages and socio-economic levels.”

“As housing affordability in Monterey continues to dip and the region’s senior population increases, it’s more important than ever to help ensure that our most vulnerable residents have a safe, nice place to call home in their twilight years,” said Dee Dee Smallwood, Monterey Bay Market President, Bank of America. “As a leader in affordable housing finance, Bank of America is pleased to partner with MidPen and we were excited to provide over $6.49 million in financing to help make Van Buren Senior Housing come to life.”

Van Buren Senior Housing will provide 19 one-bedroom apartments for seniors age 62 years or older earning up to 50% of Area Media Income which is $29,250 for a one person household and $33,400 for a two person household.

Throughout Van Buren, public art is on display. First, to honor the families who owned the single family homes previously located on the site, artist Thecla Campbell created pieces that include artifacts donated by the original family members such as recipes, photographs and other meaningful items. Second, art from local Monterey Bay artists don the hallways of Van Buren. An “Activated Hallways Contest” received over 100 entries of original art from more than 40 artists. The final pieces now featured throughout Van Buren were chosen from a panel of judges that included Stuart Chase, Executive Director of the Monterey Museum of Art; Wald Ruhnke & Dost Architect’s Principal Peter Silva; and the City of Monterey Culture Art Assistant Chalet Booker.

Financing for the $7.8M development was provided by the City of Monterey, the Housing Authority of the County of Monterey, the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, Bank of America, and the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco.

All Van Buren Senior Housing residents will have access to onsite services provided by the Alliance on Aging, a multi-purpose senior service agency that provides direct services, information and education designed to help seniors live healthy, independent lives. MidPen Property Management Corp. will provide onsite professional property management.

About Proposition 1
Prop 1 is a $4 billion general obligation bond that will allow our state to re-invest in our communities and create affordable housing for veterans, families, and seniors. Learn more on Prop 1

About Proposition 2
Prop 2 will authorize $2 billion in previously appropriated funding in order to create supportive housing for people suffering from chronic homelessness, people with disabilities, and people living with mental illness. Learn more on Prop 2