MidPen Housing had one of its most productive years in 2010.

The nonprofit started construction on five new developments in four Northern California counties.

As those communities got under way, MidPen completed its 68-unit Peninsula Station project in San Mateo, Calif. Located near a popular commuter train station, the transit-oriented development has already earned a local green building award.

“We've had a very clear strategy the last couple of years,” says President Matt Franklin. “Our goal is to be the preferred partner for our city and county funding agencies. We think that's a key relationship. We work very, very hard to get to know the 30 cities and counties we work with to understand the needs in their community and to understand the priorities that they've set."

The five developments started last year have set the tone for MidPen. The Foster City, Calif.- based organization expects to start another four projects this year.

Franklin says MidPen's development team has responded to the tough economic times by being nimble, including phasing deals and working to leverage local investments.

The organization has also expanded the team's full-time equivalent count by about 20 percent in the last year and a half.

MidPen also helped bring in a new low-income housing tax credit investor to the market last year. Google made its first tax credit investment in a MidPen seniors housing project in Sunnyvale and another seniors project being developed by Thomas Safran & Associates in Southern California.