At RCD we have always focused on building community and in the midst of these challenging and uncertain times we are very grateful for the continued support of our donors, and our business and nonprofit partners. Thank you to everyone who has reached out to us with offers to help and donated funds for RCD, and to support our residents through this unprecedented time. We are working at a distance from one another, but we take comfort in knowing we are in this together.
Earlier this year we finished construction at Embark Apartments in Oakland and St. Paul’s Commons in Walnut Creek. Between these two buildings we welcomed 101 residents into their new homes this spring. We are delighted that we were able to provide critically important housing to these households so that they can safely shelter through the COVID-19 crisis.
Embark Apartments is our first development dedicated to serving Veterans, the majority of whom were experiencing homelessness before moving into this new, 6-story property. Our partners, Abode Services and The John Stewart Company, were instrumental in moving in residents quickly and safely starting in late February. The building is nearly fully occupied with 55 residents and we are leasing up the remaining nine apartments with new procedures in place to ensure the safety of all involved. General contractor: J.H. Fitzmaurice, Inc., SGPA Architecture and Planning
St. Paul’s Commons is part of a mixed-use campus with St. Paul’s Episcopal Church which includes space for homeless day programs of the Trinity Center and community meeting space along with 45 units of affordable housing above. General contractor J.H. Fitzmaurice, Inc. is putting the finishing touches on the building designed by PYATOK architecture + urban design this month. 46 residents moved in earlier this spring and we are leasing up the last apartment now.
St. Paul’s Commons
Construction Continues in San Jose, Fairfax and Oakland
The construction of affordable housing is considered essential infrastructure so we are grateful that progress has continued at our developments including: Quetzal Gardens in San Jose, Victory Village in Fairfax, and Coliseum Place in Oakland.
VictoryVillage will provide 54 much-needed apartments for low income seniors surrounded by serene oak woodland. The lease-up process began in February in partnership with the Marin Housing Authority and we are developing new procedures so we can safely move in residents when construction finishes in July. Nibbi Brothers General Contractors have done an excellent job creating and enforcing new infection disease prevention protocols on site while diligently pressing forward with construction. Architect: Van Meter Williams Pollack
Quetzal Gardens broke ground in January and we are excited to report that general contractor, James E. Roberts-Obayashi Corp., began pouring the foundation a few weeks ago. This fully electric building, designed by SGPA Architecture and Planning, will provide homes for 70 low- and very-low income families when completed in late summer 2021.
Coliseum Place will provide 59 one, two- and three-bedroom apartments for individuals and families when completed in 2021. It is part of a pilot program to provide high levels of environmental sustainability in affordable housing in collaboration with the International Living Future Institute’s Building Challenge. Nibbi Brothers General Contractors is building the property designed by David Baker Architects.
Supporting the Eden Area during COVID-19
Our Community Development Initiative, focused in the Eden Area communities of Ashland, Cherryland, San Lorenzo, and Hayward Acres, is leading an emergency response initiative in collaboration with resident leaders, grassroots community groups, social services agencies, school districts, and Eden Church.
The majority of people living in this area are low-income households and were already at high risk of displacement. RCD is supporting these communities by addressing three vital needs:
Food: Food insecurity in Ashland skyrocketed in late March. RCD worked with partners through the Ashland Cherryland Healthy Communities Collaborative to set up a new food pantry to serve over 300 families each week.
Renter Protection: RCD helped form the Eden R enters Union, a new grassroots tenant rights organization, that educates residents and advocates for policy changes around eviction, rent gouging, and habitability concerns for 60,000 renters in unincorporated Alameda County. The group has pivoted to focus on educating residents on their rights within the new renter protections, and connecting them with legal resources.
Financial support: RCD is co-administering the distribution of the Eden Area COVID-19 Relief Fund, a program of the East Bay Community Foundation, which is providing financial support to individuals and families in the Eden area that are not eligible to receive federal relief funds. The funds distributed have largely been used to help keep residents current with their rent in the economic crisis.
Eden Renters Union
Resources for Residents
Supporting our residents continues to be a top priority for RCD. RCD’s Resident Services team and our community partners are reaching out to every household in our properties to ensure that they are managing through COVID-19. The team is supporting residents in many ways, including helping households to apply for benefits they are entitled to, negotiating rent relief, locating food pantries, finding low-cost internet providers, and providing emotional support. We are also actively pursuing multiple strategies to address the growing food insecurity in our buildings, and have started to accept hot meals and food boxes to support residents in need. We are working hard to expand this program in the coming weeks.
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