David Wakely Photography

St. Paul’s Commons in Walnut Creek, California, is the culmination of a partnership to bring a mixed-use affordable housing development to the grounds of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

The project grew out of the vision from the church and Trinity Center, a nonprofit providing weekday support to homeless adults that had outgrown its original location, a small house on the church’s property.

With the church’s goal of supporting the larger community, the groups put forth the idea of a mixed-use building with community-serving spaces and new facilities for Trinity Center on the ground floor and affordable housing above.

David Wakely Photography

Developed in partnership with nonprofit Resources for Community Development (RCD), St. Paul’s Commons delivers on that vision, replacing a parking lot and the dilapidated old house Trinity Center was operating out of with 45 apartments, two community rooms operated by the church, and a new home to accommodate all of Trinity Center’s homeless services.

The development provides homes for residents with incomes between 30% and 60% of the area median income, with 40% of the units set aside for residents with special needs or who have experienced homelessness. In addition, two units are dedicated to residents living with HIV or AIDS. Residents can receive services from RCD’s resident services team as well as case management and free meals provided by Trinity Center.

“St. Paul’s certainly aligns with our mission of providing housing for those with the fewest options,” says Olivia King, director of resident services at RCD. “I appreciate that we are able to continue to partner with Trinity Center.”

Completed in spring 2020, the $23.5 million St. Paul’s Commons also is RCD’s first fully electric development. “Not only did we build the affordable housing, but we addressed the climate change risks and lightened our carbon footprint through this building,” says Alicia Klein, associate director of real estate development at RCD, adding that it received GreenPoint Rated Platinum certification.