Homes for the Holidays 130 New Affordable Apartments in San Jose and Oakland!
We are wrapping up construction this fall on the residential portion of two new communities – Coliseum Place in Oakland and Quetzal Gardens in San Jose.
Quetzal Gardens is our first property in San Jose and marks RCD’s expansion into the South Bay. Located in the Mayfair neighborhood of East San Jose, just blocks from where Cesar Chavez led community organizing in the 1950s, Quetzal Gardens is the first major affordable housing development in this growing neighborhood. This mixed-use, transit-oriented community provides 71 new affordable homes for low-income households and formerly homeless individuals and families. As a nod to the rich history of the neighborhood, the colorful quetzal bird found throughout Mexico and Central America inspires the design of the 6-story building.
From the beginning, RCD and SGPA Architecture worked closely with local organizations and stakeholders to ensure the new development was rooted in the community’s vision. From this collaboration, SOMOS Mayfair, a non-profit with over 20 years serving the local community, became the anchor tenant for the ground floor commercial space.
Quetzal Gardens is already more than 75% leased-up with residents beginning to move in next week. We can’t wait to welcome these families into their new homes!
Another new development, Coliseum Place, represents the new future of all-electric, sustainable communities. The 6-story transit-oriented development is adjacent to Coliseum BART and provides 59 new homes for low-income and homeless families. The property has a number of innovative, green building features including rooftop solar panels, on-site storm water management, and water-conserving plumbing fixtures. Additionally, the project is financed partially through the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) program, which will support the construction of a nearby Bus Rapid Transit project and bicycle/pedestrian improvements.
Our asset management team has been working hard with our partners at the John Stewart Company to process applications for Coliseum Place. We anticipate residents will begin moving in by December.
RCD Spotlight – My Eden Voice
In 2016, RCD began our Community Development Initiative to expand community investments and support neighborhood revitalization efforts. We have been focused on building community leadership, expanding partnerships, and supporting advocacy efforts in unincorporated Alameda County. Through this work, we supported the development of My Eden Voice (MEV), a new grassroots organization sponsored by RCD, to build community voice, resources, and capacity.
Alina Farooq is My Eden Voice’s Coordinator. She previously worked for Alameda County’s 2020 census outreach team where she met Teresita de Jesus.
What is My Eden Voice? My Eden Voice works with residents and grassroots community organizations to advocate for both short and long-term structural change in the Eden area. Our mission is to use collective voice to hold local government accountable and help build a thriving Eden area that has affordable housing, plenty of open space and an economy that works for everyone.
Which MEV accomplishments make you feel proud? One thing I’m proud of is that we were awarded $25,000 from the East Bay Community Foundation to support undocumented families who were behind on rent due to the pandemic. Additionally, in Fall 2020 we advocated that Alameda County allocate $5,000,000 in federal stimulus funds to help unincorporated area residents avoid eviction and pay back rent.
What do you wish people knew about MEV? In addition to advancing policy changes, we also focus on uplifting local community leaders. Teresita is an example of this kind of community leader that we aim to support. She’s on the ground every single day, in many groups and very connected to the community. She makes sure that the voice of the community is being heard.
Teresita de Jesus
A long-time resident of unincorporated Alameda County, Teresita de Jesus is a perennial volunteer deeply involved in multiple kinds of local advocacy work. She joined MEV at the very beginning and brings invaluable experience and connections to the organization.
How did you become a part of MEV? I became aware of RCD and MEV through the six-month Leadership Academy workshops where the group was taught different strategies on how to advocate and represent ourselves.
What brings you to this work? I have four children and two of them are autistic. I started out volunteering at my son’s elementary school and then became involved with advisory committees, the PTA and many other groups. Eventually, I put aside my career to dedicate my time to my children and advocating for people with special needs. Then I expanded that work to the whole community. I didn’t know that I lived in an unincorporated area until the workshops. We live in an area that has been forgotten for many, many years. We realized that resources were not distributed with equity, and so it was a very important opportunity to learn how to organize ourselves.
Which MEV accomplishments make you feel proud? During COVID, all the MEV members thought about ways to fulfill the needs of the community with the number one thing being access to food. I’m very proud of MEV because we weren’t just delivering items of need but also following up families and communities’ members. We didn’t abandon anyone, and we never left anyone behind
Celebrating Our Commercial Tenants!
Easy Does It Repair Shop
It’s been a busy year for the commercial tenants of RCD properties! Many RCD properties include commercial space on the ground floor and we are proud to provide affordable leases for locally owned businesses and community-serving non-profits. We’re thrilled to welcome these new tenants into our buildings and to be able to provide stable, affordable new homes for these businesses.
A link to: Easy Does it Emergency Services (EDI), a non-profit that aids seniors and people with disabilities, moved into RCD’s Adeline Apartments which are located near Ashby BART and the Ed Roberts Campus, a hub for organizations supporting people with disabilities. EDI moved its office and repair shop into the ground floor of the Adeline and its staff and clients love their new location. EDI provides many services including low-cost transportation, attendant care, and assistive equipment repairs. By providing affordable, on-call equipment repair, EDI helps ensure that seniors and people with disabilities can continue to live independently
Rock Paper Scissor Collective
We are also very excited to welcome A link to: Rock Paper Scissors Collective (RPSC), a long-standing Oakland based art collective, to the ground floor of Embark Apartments in Oakland. After being displaced due to rising rents in 2016, RPSC moved to temporary locations while searching for an affordable and permanent home. The group has been a wonderful partner to RCD for the past few years – from helping with a temporary mural in west Oakland to designing a brochure for new residents at Coliseum Place. We are thrilled to continue our partnership and support the non-profit through offering affordable and stable rent.
At RCD’s Harrison Hotel in Oakland, we welcomed A link to: Collective Action Studio, a community art organization, in May. RCD recently completed a substantial renovation of the building, which provides permanent housing for low-income and formerly homeless households, which included a transformation of the ground floor space. The organization has gone right to work providing workshops and even painting some portraits of Harrison residents.
Thank you for your continued interest in RCD and its programs. Click the button below to give a gift that creates a stronger, more hopeful future, for our residents and for our communities.
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