Nearly two years after construction was originally expected to begin, ground has not yet broken on a planned housing community in Livermore for low income adults with special needs.
Despite commitments of around $10 million in low interest loans, and grants from the City of Livermore and Alameda County over the past three years, the project is still in the plan review stage and building permits have not been issued.
In the meantime, the nonprofit housing developer now leading the project is working to cobble together the final pieces of financing to make the innovative community a reality.
At its Feb. 10 meeting, the Livermore City Council pledged an additional $1.2 million in loans to fill a budget gap left from a grant the project’s nonprofit developer, MidPen Housing, of Foster City, was expecting. The city’s 1.2 million will allow it to apply for 2020 tax credit financing from the state.
Construction could start as soon as the last quarter of the year, said Jan Lindenthal, MidPen’s chief real estate development officer. She called the city’s additional commitment “instrumental” to finally getting the project off the ground.
When complete, the complex at 4260 First St., between Mines and Las Positas Roads, will include 44 new, affordable, studio and one-bedroom units for low income individuals who are developmentally disabled.
The concept is based on the intentional community housing model and designed to accommodate adults with disabilities such as autism, Down Syndrome and cerebral palsy. Under the intentional community model, residents live independently, while being provided with services and activities to enrich and support their independence.
The development was first approved by the city in March 2017. Originally called Sunflower Hill Livermore, it was proposed by a partnership between Pleasanton-based nonprofit Sunflower Hill and MidPen.
In October, the partnership split over disagreements. It was agreed that MidPen would complete the project.
Shortly after the split, the City Council approved steering $4.7 million in funding for the project from its share of Alameda County Measure A1 bond funding for affordable housing. That same month, MidPen applied for an additional $1.2 in competitive A1 Bond funding, but lost out to other affordable housing developments in Livermore.