New Affordable Housing for Seniors Starts Construction in Sonoma

Sonoma, Celestina Garden Apartments, MidPen Housing, Fetters Apartments, Santa Rosa, Sonoma Charter School, Maxwell Farms Regional Park, Vailetti Plaza, Vailetti Family Trust, North Bay Credit Union, Cielito Ice Teen Center Bike Shop, Cream Shop, Noble Yoga

Groundbreaking at Celestina Garden Apartments, an example of the kind of communities that Proposition 1, Proposition 2 and Measure N will help create

Sonoma, CA (October 19, 2018) – On October 19th Sonoma County Supervisor Susan Gorin will join other county leaders to celebrate the groundbreaking of Celestina Garden Apartments, an affordable rental community being developed by MidPen Housing. The event begins at 11:00am at 125 Dorene Way in Sonoma.

Located in the heart of the Sonoma Valley wine region, Celestina Garden represents the final phase of a master-planned, intergenerational community where people of all ages can live, work, attend school, shop, have easy access to transportation and enjoy many community amenities. Fetters Apartments, which opened in late 2017 and was also developed by MidPen, provides affordable apartment homes for families on an adjacent site. The event highlights the value of state Propositions 1 & 2 and City of Santa Rosa’s Measure N which, if passed in November, will create more communities like Fetters and Celestina Garden for Sonoma County’s working families, children, veterans, seniors and people with special needs.

“The need for affordable housing is clearly one of the most significant issues we face today,” said Sonoma County Supervisor Susan Gorin. “Celestina Garden and Fetters Apartments are great examples of the types of communities that Proposition 1 and Measure N funds will help create – where valuable members of our county, including working families and seniors, will have quality housing that they can afford.”

In one of the nations’ most expensive housing markets, Celestina Garden will provide 40 affordable homes for seniors with 8 apartments reserved for the formerly homeless, including residents displaced by the 2017 Sonoma County wildfires. Following those fires, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors instructed the Community Development Commission to expedite funding to projects that were close to starting construction. Celestina Garden was one of those and MidPen was able to leverage the $1.5M awarded from the County Fund for Housing to secure the additional state and federal funds needed to start construction.

“The Board of Supervisors took quick action to accelerate the distribution of development funds after the devastating fires exacerbated the region’s housing shortage,” said Matthew O. Franklin, President and CEO of MidPen Housing. “We applaud their leadership and are grateful to be partnering with the county on innovative housing solutions like these.”

The master development also includes a 1.4 acre playground and athletic field shared by the neighboring Sonoma Charter School; a .3 mile section of the new Central Sonoma Valley Trail that connects to two public elementary schools and various public parks and ends at Maxwell Farms Regional Park in northwest Sonoma; and the frontage beautification of Hwy 12 with a tree-lined sidewalk. Vailetti Plaza, a commercial center being built by the Vailetti Family Trust is also part of the planned site and is expected to be completed in the next few weeks. The plaza will include: a North Bay Credit Union which marks the first bank in Sonoma Springs; Cielito Ice Cream Shop where residents can enjoy custom made artisan ice cream; the Teen Center Bike Shop run by non-profit Teen Services Sonoma; and Noble Yoga, a yoga studio.

Expected to open in fall of 2019, Celestina Garden will provide 37 one-bedroom and 3 two-bedroom, apartment homes for low-income seniors earning up to 60% of Area Median Income which is $47,160 for a two-person household. The community will also feature a fitness studio, bike storage, courtyard, and a community room with a kitchen for larger gatherings. A large garden is also being created for use by Fetters and Celestina residents as well as Sonoma Valley Charter School students.

MidPen Services Corporation will provide onsite programs and services designed to empower Celestina Garden residents to improve their health and well-being and successfully age in place. These include onsite health fairs and screenings, nutrition workshops, financial capabilities courses, cognitive stimulation programs, social activities, and lifelong learning opportunities. MidPen Property Management Corporation will provide onsite professional property management.

Celestina Garden Apartments was named in honor of Celestina Vailetti, matriarch of the Vailetti family, longtime Sonoma community members who previously ran their family business on the site. Celestina will turn 91 years old the day of the groundbreaking and her birthday will be part of the celebration.

Financing for the $20.2M development was provided through both public and private sources including the Sonoma County Community Development Commission, Sonoma County Housing Authority, California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, California Community Reinvestment Corporation, and Wells Fargo.

About MidPen Housing Corporation
It is the mission of MidPen Housing to provide safe, affordable housing of high quality to those in need; to establish stability and opportunity in the lives of residents; and to foster diverse communities that allow people from all ethnic, social, and economic backgrounds to live in dignity, harmony and mutual respect. Since 1970, MidPen has developed and professionally managed over 8,000 homes for low-income families, seniors and those with special needs. With offices in Foster City, Oakland, Santa Rosa and Watsonville, MidPen works in 11 Northern California counties. For more information visit: www.midpen-housing.org

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

About Measure N
Measure N authorizes a $124 million general obligation bond to provide affordable housing opportunities for low- and middle-income residents; supportive housing for the homeless; and help displaced families in Santa Rosa rebuild after last year’s devastating fires. Learn more on Measure N