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EAH Housing's Banner Year

The City of Emeryville just picked nonprofit EAH Housing to develop a new mixed-use, affordable apartment community, beating out nine developers' proposals from across the state. (Other contenders included LINC Housing and SAHA.) KTGY Group will design the 86-unit development at 3706 San Pablo Ave, which will incorporate a solar photovoltaic system, a community garden, and 7,000 SF of commercial space on the ground floor. Other perks at the five-level community: a child play center, young adult Zen garden (the younger kids would just ruin it with sandcastles), and rooftop sky deck overlooking the city.

EAH has been on a roll, holding two grand openings in the past two months in Stanislaus County for the 76-unit Archway Commons (above) in Modesto and the 80-unit Avena Bella in Turlock (below). The demand for low-income there is clear: Avena Bella has 530 people on the waiting list and Archway Commons had about 650, we've learned. There's definitely an incredible need for affordable housing there, an EAH spokesman told us this morning, mentioning that EAH has also started accepting applications for another property in Oakland, Cathedral Gardens, which is expected to finish later this year.

There's been five EAH openings since 2013, but many have been a long time in the making. Financing is the most difficult aspect to get an affordable housing project off the ground, since funding is a complex process, we're told. The Emeryville project, for instance, won't start construction for another two years, or spring 2016. (The timeline to build takes a year and a half to two years, on average.) EAH Housing is also active in another state where the cost of living is sky high: Hawaii. Last year it delivered two affordable rental projects, one in Wailuku and another in Ewa Beach.