DUBLIN — The city council agreed to put $5.05 million in Alameda County Measure A-1 bond funds toward the proposed Eden Housing project on Regional Street.
In a unanimous vote Oct. 5, the council committed to paying the developers a portion of the city’s $7.9 million from Measure A-1 to fund the proposed 113 unit affordable rental housing project.
While support among the council was united, concerns were raised by one resident during the public hearing about the allocation of so much money to the developer, instead of providing for local, in-house support services once the project is built.
“Rather than just give it to the developer, I am thinking there are better things we can do with that money,” said Dublin resident Tom Evans. “You could do rental assistance for low-income people for a couple years, or you could buy four or five houses and rent them out to low-income people … If you give them $5 million, there are no strings attached. My whole idea is let’s keep the money in Dublin and help our own people out. We don’t need to help out the developer; they will be just fine.”
But Vice Mayor Sean Kumagai reminded those listening that there are stipulations that come with the money.
“I do want to reiterate that with this A-1 bond money, there are specific pots of money, and that is what we are tapping into here,” he said. "One is that it cannot be used for rental assistance.”
Mayor Melissa Hernandez addressed one speaker's request to include on-site services for residents to obtain help for items such as health and dental care and food allocations. The complex will have meeting rooms and gathering spaces on the bottom floor, which could possibly serve as locations for monthly drop-in programs.
“There are concerns about having something directly in (the housing complex), but there are lots of restrictions,” she said. “We are thinking in that direction, but it is just about where can we actually place those facilities and is it still within walking distance to the downtown area?”
Measure A-1 was passed in November 2016 to fund housing programs in Alameda County. Dublin’s share of the $580 million bond is $7,948,319. Per the terms of the bond, Dublin has until Dec. 31, 2021 to commit its funds to specific projects. Funds not committed before the deadline are subject to removal to the regional pool on Jan. 1, 2022.
The rental housing project proposed at 6541- 6543 Regional St. would develop 113 units to serve very-low- and low-income seniors. The project would include 55 studios, 57 one-bedrooms, and one unrestricted two-bedroom manager's unit. The studios and one-bedroom units would be restricted to senior households earning between 20 and 50% of Alameda County Area Median Income (AMI).
According to staff, the development is expected to cost $46 million to $74 million, contingent on the number of units constructed and is expected to be completed in 2024.
Glenn Lovell of Ironworkers Union 178 spoke in favor of the project.
“We are well aware we are combating a very deep housing crisis and so the advancement of these units is directly addressing that very great need supply and specifically affordable housing supply … once again we highly encourage use of A1 (funds) here,” Lovell concluded.
For more information, visit www.dublin.ca.gov.
To receive an application, call 510-582-1460.