MidPen Housing Corp. is in a big growth period as it pushes to provide affordable housing in pricey Silicon Valley and the surrounding areas of Northern California.

Matt Franklin, president of MidPen Housing Corp.
Matt Franklin, president of MidPen Housing Corp.

The nonprofit organization started construction on four housing developments with 307 units in 2016. MidPen also completed four other communities that will provide 290 affordable homes.

With its solid production, the firm ranks No. 32 on the AHF 50 developers list and No. 48 on the AHF 50 owners list this year.

The organization is also poised to continue to grow with a hefty pipeline of 3,400 more units, says Matt Franklin, president.

“There’s such a big appetite in our market areas for progress in addressing the housing affordability issue,” he says. “We’re planning for substantial future growth.”

In 2016, MidPen opened several notable properties, including Onizuka Crossing in Sunnyvale. The development features 58 apartments for families with half of the units reserved for formerly homeless people, including six for formerly homeless veterans. It’s an example of infill development, transforming a former National Guard armory into housing.

The firm also broke ground on Sequoia Belle Haven, a 90-unit senior housing development close to the Facebook campus in Menlo Park. MidPen has been working with Facebook and city officials to increase its affordable housing production in the neighborhood to help mitigate some of the potential impact of gentrification that comes with all the jobs in the area, Franklin says. Facebook is directing some of its impact fees into MidPen’s developments.

Overall, the firm is working to be a more nimble organization when it comes to financing its projects. “It’s normal course now for us to have three or four financing plans for a development and be constantly adjusting how we’re trying to put the financing together,” Franklin says.

MidPen is taking its balance sheet and putting it to work more aggressively, including self-funding land acquisitions in the competitive market.