November 2012 Newsletter

Register Now to Tour Edenvale Apartments on December 6 

Housing Choices Coalition will hold a tour of Edenvale Apartments on December 6 at 3 pm.  The tour is designed for people with developmental disabilities interested in moving into affordable community rental housing. 

Edenvale is located at 5340 Monterey Highway in South San Jose and includes eleven one-bedroom and three two-bedroom apartments designated for rent to people with developmental disabilities. 

According to Jarhari Smith-Pinheiro, the HCC Resident Coordinator who provides on-site housing support to the fourteen residents with developmental disabilities, “Edenvale is pretty close-knit, where residents look out for each other.  People come to Edenvale for the affordability, and they stay for the community.”  Edenvale was financed under the Section 811 housing program, so rents are capped at 30% of the tenant’s actual income.  It is surrounded by family rental housing, Eden Palms, also owned and managed by nonprofit developer, Eden Housing.

Eden Housing and HCC are currently replicating the Edenvale/Eden Palms model of inclusive, affordable housing at a property under construction at nearby Ford and Monterey, where 19 units will become available for rent to people with developmental disabilities in the Summer of 2013.  Alex Bonilla, HCC’s Santa Clara Housing Coordinator, advises:  “If you think you’d like to live at the new Partner Property under construction at Ford and Monterey, we encourage you to tour Edenvale Apartments to get a feel for the new property before you decide to apply.”

Register online for the Edenvale tour.
HCC Awarded New Partner Properties in Soledad
The County of Monterey has selected Housing Choices Coalition and its partner HOPE Services to receive two single-family homes in Soledad for rent on a priority basis to people with development disabilities.  HOPE Services will take title to the two homes and Housing Choices Coalition will be responsible for renting the homes to income-eligible families with a person with developmental disabilities.  “Because the County is transferring the homes to us for $1, we can rent the homes to very low-income households and address a tremendous unmet need in Monterey County,” said Jan Stokley, Executive Director. 

In Monterey County, adults with developmental disabilities remain in the family home longer and at higher rates than in neighboring Santa Clara County.   This creates a need for larger family homes which the two Soledad houses will address.

HCC is currently soliciting rental applications for the two homes.  To learn more about the properties and the qualifying household size and income, contact Eduardo Najera, Monterey County Housing Coordinator by telephone (831) 722-3304 or by email to
First Community Housing Recognized for Service Above Self 
In a ceremony on October 13 attended by more than 400 consumers with developmental disabilities and their supporters, San Andreas Regional Center awarded its Service Above Self recognition of merit award to First Community Housing, a partner with Housing Choices Coalition in creating housing opportunities for people with developmental disabilities.  First Community Housing (FCH) is a nonprofit, community-based service organization whose primary purpose is to provide and develop high-quality, affordable housing.

FCH’s housing communities have won national recognition for architecture design and sustainability, as well as excellence in property and asset management. FCH has pioneered the development of sustainable, energy efficient design maximizing the use of “green” building materials.   All of FCH’s properties are transit-oriented, and tenants receive a free Eco-Pass to encourage the use of public transit.  FCH’s portfolio of more than 1200 affordable apartments includes three housing communities in San Jose with some units set aside for people with developmental disabilities:  Gish Apartments (13 of 35 apartments), Casa Feliz Studio Apartments (21 of 60 units), and Fourth Street Apartments (29 of 100 units). 

Housing Advocates Push for New Financing Sources for Affordable Housing
After failing by a narrow margin to secure passage of the California HOMES financing legislation in 2012, housing advocates are organizing a 2013 campaign to pursue a similar bill, the California Homes and Jobs Act of 2013. The bill would generate $300 million annually from new document recording fees.  Most transactions that involve single family homes would be exempt from the new fees.

Because of the high cost of housing, San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara is among the top ten communities nationally in rates of homelessness.  Yet affordable housing production in the region has been stymied by the lack of public funds to build new apartments with rents that are truly affordable to extremely low-income people, including people with developmental disabilities.  The new financing source will partially replace funds lost for affordable housing production when California eliminated its redevelopment agencies.  “Unless nonprofit housing developers have access to new sources of financing, such as that proposed by the California Homes and Jobs Act, HCC’s ability to secure designated apartments for rent to people with developmental disabilities will grind to a halt,” observed HCC’s Executive Director, Jan Stokley.