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September 2014 Newsletter

Lease-Up Announcement- 1585 Studios
Housing Choices Coalition is pleased to announce the start of the leasing process for 1585 Studios, a new First Community Housing development located at 1581-1585 W. El Camino Real, Mountain View, CA 94040.

When it opens in June 2015 (the estimated date of completion), 1585 Studios will provide 26 Studio Units for rent to people with developmental disabilities. The rents will be set for 16 units at 30% Area Median Income (AMI) and 10 units at 50% Area Median Income (AMI). Housing Choices Coalition will provide resident support services to tenants with developmental disabilities.  John Stewart Company will provide property management and that includes on-site management staff.

First Community Housing is an award-winning Public Benefit Housing Development Corporation that has created hundreds of affordable rental housing units for low-income residents. To learn more about First Community Housing visit their website at www.firsthousing.com. HCC and First Community Housing have a successful existing partnership at Casa Feliz Sudios, Fourth Street Apartments and Gish Apartments, where HCC provides resident support services to a total of 63 households with developmental disabilities.

Residents of 1585 Studios may meet with their San Andreas Regional Center planning team to discuss additional supports they may need in order to successfully live on site. The planning team can work with each person individually to evaluate their unique independent living needs and find programs that will work best for them. 

1585 Studios is recommended single person occupancy. This property is a non-smoking property with no resident on-site parking. If you drive a car, take into consideration that there is very limited public street parking near the property and there will only be select visitor parking available. There will be limited handicap parking available. This property will have 26 units in total in two 3 story buildings equipped with elevators.

This property is intended for people with extremely low-income and the following income ceilings apply:

16 Units at 30 % AMI

Rent

Minimum Annual Income

Maximum Annual Income

One Person

$509

$10,384

$21,420

Two Person

$509

$10,384

$24,480

 

10 Units at 50% AMI

Rent

Minimum Annual Income

Maximum Annual Income

One Person

$864

$17,626

$35,700

Two Person

$864

$17,626

$40,800

Please review the following information to understand the steps in the application process:

STEP ONE:  Register online for a Part I workshop to learn more about the property, the program Abilities United is offering for a limited number of future resident of this property and to help you complete Part I of the application.  Part I workshops will be held on September 16, 2014 at 9 am, September 18, 2014 at 12pm and September 24, 2014 at 4pm. These workshops will be held at 30 Las Colinas Lane, San Jose CA, 95119. On October 6, 2014 at 12 pm and October 14, 2014 at 3 pm workshops will be held at Abilities Unitied at 525 E. Charleston Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94306. On October 24, 2014 at 10 am the workshop will be held at 898 Faulstich Ct, Suite B, San Jose CA, 95112. Choose a date and time that works for you.  

STEP TWO:  Complete and sign Part I of the application.

STEP THREE:  Turn in the completed Part I of the application, which must be RECEIVED by 5 pm on November 21, 2014 to be included in the initial lottery.   You can mail it to Housing Choices Coalition, Attn: Monica Pedraza, 30 Las Colinas Lane, San Jose, CA 95119 if mailed on or before September 26, 2014 or 898 Faulstich Court, Suite B, San Jose CA, 95112 if mailed after September 26, 2014. You can also fax it to (408)284-4225 or email it to hccpedraza@gmail.com.   

STEP FOUR:  HCC will hold a lottery on November 24, 2014 to place Part I applications which were received by the deadline in random order.    If you missed the deadline for the lottery, your application will not be included in the initial lottery but you will be placed on a wait list after the names of all those who were in the lottery.

STEP FIVE:  Look for a letter in the mail from HCC between December 3 and December 8, 2014, telling you your place in the lottery and whether to submit Part II of the application at this time.  If you were not selected in the lottery to complete Part II of the application, you will be placed on a wait list for the property. 

STEP SIX:  In December 2014, HCC will hold Part II application workshops to help those applicants who were asked to complete Part II of the application.  Part II of the application requires a number of supporting documents and information that enables the landlord to verify your answers.   It is the applicant’s responsibility to support Part II of the application by assembling all required information by the due dates. 

STEP SEVEN:  Beginning in February 2015, John Stewart Company will interview you for final approval if you completed Part II of the application in a timely and complete manner.

STEP EIGHT:  It is currently estimated that tenants will move into 1585 Studios in June 2015.  However, this date could change because of construction delays, so check HCC’s web site regularly for updated information. 

For more information, contact Monica Pedraza, Housing Coordinator, by email to monica@housingchoices.org or by phone to 408-713-2623.

 

 

 Larry Jensen's Story


Grant Recipient Spotlight: Larry


After 11 years of living at Archstone Apartments as a Housing Choices Coalition client, Larry was faced with a housing crisis. His twin brother-- also his roommate--passed away. Larry was unable to pay his rent and utilities with his limited income. Housing Choices Coalition quickly pulled together a team meeting with all of Larry's supports to work out a plan: a plan to keep Larry in his current housing.  Housing Choices Coalition was determined to not let the loss of the resident's twin brother cause the loss of resident's stability in the housing of his choice. The Housing Coordinator would look for potential roommates.  The Resident Coordinator would assist Larry in applying for Emergency Housing Funds through HIF until a suitable roommate was found.  The Resident Coordinator with help from Larry and his independent living skills trainers at Hope Services were able to complete a 3-month budget and collect pay stubs and utility bills to complete the application for Emergency Housing Funds. Larry's rent and utilities were paid for the month of August with a grant from The Housing Industry Foundation. Larry was able to interview potential roommates and provide his feedback on the person. Larry eventually chose a new roommate who moved in early September.  Larry and his new roommate will now have continued Resident Coordination services to help the two though the transition of living as new roommates.


A note from Larry and his support staff: 

"On behalf of Larry Jensen, I would like to acknowledge the immense financial aid that was afforded by the Housing Industry Foundation (HIF). Larry has given me permission to share the passing of his twin brother Jerry who was also his long-time roommate at Archstone Santa Clara. The help for the rent and bills proved a stop-gap to allow me to continue living at Archstone. Needless to say, if this didn't happen I would be looking at having to relocate along with the grieving process. Also big thanks to you Crystal for doing a great job facilitating the finding of another roommate.    Thanks again, Larry Jensen."


Recently Housing Choices has formed a working relationship with The Housing Industry Foundation, HIF. The Housing Industry Foundation was founded in 1989 and has two organization programs to address the current needs of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties: the Emergency Housing Fund and Shelter Renovation Program.  Since beginning our partnership less than a year ago, Housing Choices Coalition has assisted clients in receiving over $4,000 in Emergency Housing Funds.  These funds have allowed our clients to move into more suitable housing options or have allowed them to stabilize their housing during times of housing crisis. For more information on emergency rental assistance, please contact Housing Choices Coalition. 





Neeraj's Story: 

Neeraj just moved into De La Cruz Co-op this past May and is living on his own for the first time. The De La Cruz Co-op has proven to be a good transitional housing option for Neeraj based on what he has engaged in and continues to do since moving out of his family's home. It's been an exciting transition for Neeraj; he stated "it's fun...I like it!" Resident Coordinator Priscilla Marquez is just as happy to say that Neeraj has settled in very well at the Co-op and is getting along with his housemates. He has already co-hosted a house event at the De La Cruz Co-op leading a cooking class on how to make an amazing Indian cuisine dish, Chicken Curry! Additionally, Neeraj enjoys taking part in several activities, such as cooking, gardening, and participates in various sports. He is also involved in the Special Olympics, where he was chosen to hold the torch to start off the Special Olympics 2014 San Jose Golf Regional Competition on Monday, August 25th at The Villages Golf & Country Club in Evergreen/San Jose area. Neeraj had a great time at the Special Olympics, where he participated in the sport of Golf! Neeraj is looking forward to the next session of the Special Olympics, where he will either be participating in soccer or bowling.






Cooperative Housing Improvement Project


Resident Coordinators Thai Tran and Priscilla Marquez are currently working on an exciting project that aims to improve the living quality of residents at HCC's Cooperative Houses. Currently, the backyards at Briarwood, Camden and De la Cruz do not provide usable living space for the residents. The undeveloped spaces are often left empty and unused by residents of the Co-op. The Cooperative Housing Backyard Development Project's goal is to renovate the backyards into amazing spaces that realize the potential of the currently unused backyards.  By recreating these spaces, we hope to evoke excitement which will entice the individuals residing in the home to utilize the space.


The project began with resident meetings at each co-op to ask residents how they would like to use the backyard.  Individuals with developmental disabilities can have a profound sense of isolation.  The main objective, and ultimate measure of success in this project is to develop and encourage the social interaction among the housemates by creating a backyard space that everyone wants to enjoy. A pleasant and functional backyard environment will increase the social interaction among the housemates and help develop bonds, relationships, and cooperation along with the responsibility it takes to maintain the back yard in good condition.


Based on the resident's ideas, the improvement plans for the backyard include a number of changes.  The new backyards will each include a dining area with a high end BBQ grill for residents to prepare and enjoy meals together. Also included will be garden areas where residents can work with each other, family members, and Independent Living Skill staff members to plant organic herbs, vegetables, and fruit trees to develop healthy eating habits. The renovated backyards will be complete with patio furniture for residents to have social events, relax, and enjoy the outdoors.


To make the Cooperative Housing Backyard Development Project become a reality for the residents, Thai and Priscilla have reached out to various organizations that have programs designed to accept proposals such as this one--either for funding or for volunteer engagement.  They plan to hold various fundraisers throughout the life-span of the project to continue raising funds. HCC will be hosting community building events to enhance social integration within the community while highlighting the project's progress. 


Thai and Priscilla are also planning "before and after" community parties: "before" to introduce the project and recruit additional volunteers if needed, and "after" to showcase the backyard improvement projects' final results. They are currently developing various fundraising projects including such ideas as bake sales, car washes, neighborhood block parties, auction night dinners, raffles, and mixers. We hope to have great responses and supports from members of the community for this project that will greatly impact the lives of the residents.

We will communicate more information with you and the community as dates approach these events.

If you have any questions or recommendations, please contact Thai Tran at hccttran@gmail.com or Priscilla Marquez at hccmarquez@gmail.com.


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