A new affordable housing community has sprouted complete with its own farm in Santa Clara, California.
Agrihood provides low-income seniors and veterans with an affordable place to live as well as fresh produce through an on-site farm.
Living on a fixed income, seniors are often strapped to pay for essentials like housing and food, especially in the pricey San Francisco Bay Area.
“This is how we respond,” said Vince Cantore, vice president of development at The Core Cos. The firm dedicated about 10 years to making the project a reality.
Agrihood includes 165 affordable units for older adults, including 54 units of permanent supportive housing. The community features a mix of studio, one-, and two-bedroom apartments for residents earning up to 30%, 40%, and 60% of the area median income. Gardening lessons and other services are offered to residents,
Other developments around the country have integrated agriculture into a residential community, but Agrihood is unique for the density of the housing and its urban setting. Supporters say it is California’s largest urban farm and affordable housing community,
The project’s location along a busy street and close to a major shopping mall seems an unlikely place for a farm, but, long before the area became known as Silicon Valley, the region’s roots were in agriculture.
“We are so excited about this new and unique development that will not only create a multigenerational hub with affordable housing for seniors but will also tap into our agricultural history while modeling environmental sustainability into the future,” said Santa Clara mayor Lisa M. Gillmor. “Additionally, Agrihood provides an incredible local resource with over 50 community events per year on its more than 1.5 acres of open space.”
It’s one of the most important projects that the city has approved, according to Gillmor.
Agrihood was built in partnership with the city and Santa Clara County. The approximately $102 million development is the latest project funded by Measure A, a $950 million affordable housing bond approved by county voters in 2016.
Housing Trust Silicon Valley provided critical predevelopment funding to get the project started. Agrihood is also financed with low-income housing tax credits allocated by the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee.
Other partners include Enterprise Community Partners, Bellwether Enterprise, JPMorgan Chase, Capital One, Santa Clara County Office of Supportive Housing, and Santa Clara County Housing Authority.