Avocado Court Mixes Family, Vets Housing

Avocado Court in Escondido, Calif., is home to families and formerly homeless, disabled veterans. The development offers an array of services for all the populations, including a caseworker for the veterans, financial literacy classes for adult residents, and educational programs and activities for the children.

The transit-oriented development incorporates many energy- and water-saving features. It also touts having the first GeoPower system installation in the United States, which was donated by the Japanese company. The geothermal HVAC system takes fresh air into the earth through tubes to stabilize the temperature before going back in to the building. In its first year of operation, the system has saved more than 60 percent on heating and cooling costs.

Community HousingWorks partnered with the city of Escondido to create a 9,400-square-foot community garden, which is open to Avocado Court residents and members of the surrounding neighborhood. The garden promotes healthy eating habits, helps residents save money on groceries, and engages an intergenerational group of individuals.

The development has been designed to accommodate the needs of families, including larger units, outdoor picnic tables and barbecues, walking paths, and innovative and structurally artistic play equipment.

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