OAKLAND, Calif.; Oct. 28, 2021: Affirmed Housing, a leading provider of affordable housing throughout California, announces the completion of Aurora, a new, supportive housing development with on-site services to help people experiencing homelessness live more stable lives. A virtual ceremony was held to commemorate the project’s grand opening and included special guests Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and Councilmember Dan Kalb. While touring Aurora prior to its grand opening, U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia Fudge touted the project as a great example of how multiple stakeholders can successfully work together to house people experiencing homelessness.
“Ensuring housing security is the best investment our government can make, and that’s our charge in this moment – to demonstrate to policymakers that putting a roof over someone’s head is investing in their health, their productivity, their contribution to society – and that’s exactly what Aurora does,” said Mayor Libby Schaaf. “This project is a shining example of first-class development that goes beyond delivering just housing, but also provides residents with on-site services and care. Oakland is proud to be a partner in Aurora’s development.”
Situated on a formerly vacant car wash just three blocks from the MacArthur BART Station, Aurora brings critically needed, affordable housing targeted to the region’s most vulnerable population while serving as a resource to help revitalize the area. Its proximity to several off-site amenities, such as retail, dining and grocery stores, offers enhanced livability and seamless integration into the surrounding neighborhood. On-site, specialized homelessness prevention counselors are available to residents with supportive services relating to mental health, job training and referrals, and various other needs.
“Aurora is proof of how a dedicated team can transform an underutilized infill site into a vibrant transit-oriented project that residents and communities can be proud of,” said Rob Wilkins, Affirmed Housing’s Vice President of Northern California. “Affirmed Housing is grateful to have partners who understand and recognize the powerful impact that our process of supportive housing has when it comes to providing care for individuals and resources that foster greater urban livability.”
Leveraging Affirmed Housing’s strengths, the development involved community engagement and complex financing and permitting expertise. The company was able to skillfully align Aurora’s various funding sources on the same timeline to move the project forward. After purchasing the site from another developer, Affirmed Housing quickly transformed an approved market-rate project into a 100% supportive housing development, while still maintaining the design standard for market-rate rentals to ensure successful integration into the surrounding community. Aurora was funded by a diverse group of stakeholders, including the City of Oakland, Alameda County, California Department of Housing and Community Development, Federal Affordable Housing Program General Fund, California Municipal Finance Authority, and Oakland Housing Authority.
The five-story, 44-unit development leverages Housing First methods that combine on-site social services with permanent, independent and affordable rental apartments in addition to approximately 3,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor. Amenities include two laundry rooms with six washers and dryers, case manager offices, a computer room with free internet access, a community room and an outdoor courtyard. An additional outdoor common space is located on the rooftop terrace, with views of Downtown Oakland, the bay, and sightlines to San Francisco.
Affirmed Housing’s development partners for Aurora include DAHLIN Group Architecture Planning, Cahill Contractors, BKF Engineers, Jett Landscaping and Bay Area Community Services.
About Affirmed Housing
Affirmed Housing is a leader in affordable, multifamily housing development, delivering safe, sustainable, high-quality communities for families, veterans, seniors and people experiencing homelessness. The company works with municipalities and private owners throughout the state to promote housing stability and neighborhood well-being by leveraging deep expertise in public finance, low-income housing tax credits, and tax-exempt bond finance, as well as site selection, engineering, architecture, construction, relocation and marketing. Since 1992, Affirmed Housing has secured more than $1.85 billion in total financing to successfully complete 55 communities and house more than 10,000 vulnerable residents. The company has offices in San Diego and San Jose.