When it comes to housing, it appears that the Dublin City Council is righting the ship. Long known in the Tri-Valley as a hub of unmitigated market-rate growth, we’re now seeing new efforts at a planning level to bring more diverse housing opportunities into the city.
In this year alone, the new council has slated funds for affordable homes, converted apartments into affordable housing, and hired a specialist to help the city meet state requirements.
The city council unanimously agreed in late April to spend $10 million on the possible development of an affordable housing project adjacent to the west Dublin BART station. For this project, the city will partner with BRIDGE Housing, a nonprofit organization that aims to build 308 units on a city-owned 3.6-acre site at 6501 Golden Gate Drive. It will be 100% affordable. Forty units are slated for special needs residents, homeless individuals and families, and veterans. These 40 homes would include basic necessities, such as furniture and kitchen items, including appliances.
Then, in early June, the city entered into an agreement with the California Statewide Communities Development Authority (CSCDA) to convert 390 apartments on Tassajara Road into rent-restricted units for middle- and moderate-income households. To do this, the city will not collect annual property taxes for a 30-year period.
By mid-June, the city hired RRM Design Group to assist staff with preparing objective design standards along with companion amendments to the Dublin Municipal Code to meet state standards established in SB 35. The new standards remove nebulous terms and definitions from housing requirements for low-income residents in order to streamline eligibility and home design mandates.
The journey ahead will be a long one. Due to its past failure to meet low-income housing mandates, Dublin is subject to an intervention process for proposed developments to have at least 50% affordability. In addition, the city is now in the process of appealing its estimated Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) for the 2023-2031 planning period, because Dublin had already exceeded its requirement to build moderate-income units by 688% in this RHNA cycle. The recent actions taken by the council are significant. We applaud them for this turnaround.