Much Needed Affordable Housing for Seniors Opens in Menlo Park

Grand Opening of Sequoia Belle Haven, a Development of MidPen Housing


City and County leaders join MidPen Housing in celebrating the Grand Opening of Sequoia Belle Haven

City and County leaders join MidPen Housing in celebrating the Grand Opening of Sequoia Belle Haven

On June 15th Menlo Park Mayor Kirsten Keith and San Mateo County Supervisor Warren Slocum joined other city and county leaders to celebrate the Grand Opening of Sequoia Belle Haven, an affordable rental community developed by MidPen Housing.

Sequoia Belle Haven 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. As evidence of the need, within a 2 week application acceptance period, Sequoia Belle Haven received nearly 800 applications for its 90 apartment homes.

Sequoia Belle Haven represents phase one of the revitalization of the Gateway Apartments spanning two city blocks in Menlo Park’s Belle Haven neighborhood, one block from Facebook’s headquarters. Originally built in 1960, MidPen acquired the community in 1987. Sequoia Belle Haven is the redevelopment of one of the blocks. On the site which previously contained 48 apartments, Sequoia Belle Haven now provides 90 brand new affordable rental apartments for the original community’s senior population as well as additional senior residents.

“We’re excited to strengthen the Belle Haven neighborhood with this new community,” said Menlo Park Mayor Kirsten Keith. “Sequoia Belle Haven provides an opportunity for more of our valued senior residents to stay in the region where many of them have raised their families while enhancing the surrounding neighborhood with much needed high quality housing.”

“We’ve long had a vision for revitalizing this community located in one of the Peninsula’s hottest real estate markets. By replacing 48 obsolete homes and creating 42 brand new ones, we’re creating a bulwark to protect residents from displacement,” said Matthew O. Franklin, President of MidPen Housing. “It took the City’s initiative to rezone the site to make that happen. We applaud their leadership and look forward to continuing to work with them on phase two of the Gateway redevelopment.”

“Our county’s population of seniors is growing at an unprecedented rate,” said San Mateo County Supervisor Warren Slocum, “Providing high quality housing that they can afford is critical. That’s why I’m excited to celebrate the opening of Sequoia Belle Haven – a beautiful, new affordable housing community which 90 of our county’s valued senior residents now call home.”

Sequoia Belle Haven provides 86 one-bedroom and 4 two-bedroom apartment homes for low-income seniors earning up to 50% of Area Median Income which is $52,650 for a two-person household.

The community also features a fitness center, a computer lab, and a community room with a kitchen for larger gatherings. The design of the community supports the goal of healthy living, with a continuous pathway connecting outdoor gathering spaces, common spaces and courtyards.

Sequoia Belle Haven in Menlo Park, 90 affordable apartments for seniors

Sequoia Belle Haven in Menlo Park, 90 affordable apartments for seniors

Several green features are at work at Sequoia Belle Haven including photovoltaic solar panels, high-efficiency windows, solar hot water systems, Energy Star appliances and drought-tolerant landscaping.

Sequoia Belle Haven residents have access to onsite programs and services provided by MidPen Resident Services and a network of third party providers. These include health and wellness programs like meditation and nutrition workshops, onsite health screens and assessments, financial literacy courses, and social programs and events. MidPen Property Management Corporation provides professional property management.

Financing for the $43M development was provided through both public and private sources including the City of Menlo Park, the County of San Mateo Department of Housing, the Housing Authority of the County of San Mateo, the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco and Wells Fargo Bank.