Latest news from RCD – Winter 2024

Building Foundations for Every Generation

RCD is celebrating our 40th anniversary! It all began in 1984 when RCD was created as a Berkeley-based membership organization, focused on limited equity cooperatives. Our first development in West Berkeley was a five-unit complex that we acquired and renovated for the resident-owners.

Our roots formed the foundation of our strong commitment to creating and providing affordable housing that welcomes everyone. Over the years, we expanded outside Berkeley and we now provide affordable rental homes and supportive services to 5,490 people across the Bay Area.

Stay tuned for anniversary celebrations throughout the year!

picture collage of RCD history
From the RCD archives (from the left): residents celebrate the grand opening of Erna P. Harris in Berkeley in 1995, our Executive Director Dan Sawislak speaks at the opening of Aspen Court in Pacheco in 1999, and a vintage shot of Dwight Way in Berkeley

RCD’s 2024 outlook: a robust pipeline! 

We have another busy year ahead full of creating new affordable housing in the Bay Area! Two of our five properties currently in construction, Maudelle Miller Shirek Community and Rick Judd Commons, are on schedule to be completed this year. With three more developments in construction and one more breaking ground this year, we are thrilled that by 2025 we will welcome more than 850 new residents to our new communities. Let’s keep the momentum going and keep building! 🚧 👷

Longfellow Corner to start construction this year!

We are looking forward to beginning construction on Longfellow Corner this summer! This new development in Oakland will create 77 rental apartments above community-serving commercial space. It is a 100% affordable housing community, partially funded through the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) program. rendering of Longfellow Corner With this funding, BART will purchase two new BART cars and install new lighting in the A link to: 40th St. underpass that leads to MacArthur BART. Funding will also support the 27th Street Complete Streets project with new bikeway links and pedestrian improvements.

map showing RCD development pipeline for 2024

Commercial Spotlight: PennDel’s Bakery

In 2015, RCD opened Ohlone Gardens in El Cerrito, just off the Ohlone Greenway and within walking distance to El Cerrito Plaza BART Station. The mixed-use building created 57 new affordable homes above two commercial spaces, now the home to a salon and A link to: PennDel’s Bakehouse.

PennDel’s Bakehouse, created and owned by Gayle and Pamela (originally from PENNsylvania and DELaware, respectively), is a real treasure in the neighborhood. With over 50 years of culinary experience between them, the owners sought out a space where they could create seasonal, local baked goods and specialized cakes. As they started looking for the perfect space, they heard about a vacancy at Ohlone Gardens from the owner of the salon next door.

Both owners have connections in El Cerrito and they met when their kids attended the local elementary school.  They recognized that the community lacked a neighborhood bakery and decided this space was a perfect fit for their new business!

“We both wanted neighborhood bakery vibes. We wanted to be in the neighborhood we know, where our kids have grown up and give back to that neighborhood,” says Gayle.

It was also a great fit for RCD’s mission of supporting vibrant communities, which includes providing affordable, stable spaces for local businesses just like PennDel’s Bakehouse. 

“It’s so lovely to be working with a company that shares a mission of creating that neighborhood feel and supporting the community. It’s exactly what we believe in,” added Pamela.

We look forward to many more years of delicious treats from PennDel’s Bakehouse. Make sure to check them out next time you’re in the neighborhood or enjoying a walk along the Ohlone Greenway!

📝 Looking Forward to the November 2024 Election!

When we vote our values, we can create a future where all individuals and families can thrive.

In the November 2024 election, we have the opportunity to take bold action together to invest in proven solutions that match the scale of our affordable housing crisis. You may have already heard of a few measures under consideration – a $10 billion state housing bond, a $20 billion regional housing bond, and a statewide constitutional amendment to make bonds like these easier to pass. With so many impactful measures in play, we are hopeful that this election will bring us together and set us on a path towards a future for the Bay Area where everyone has a safe and affordable home.

To stay informed about how you can take action to support an affordable Bay Area in the coming months, visit A link to:

Stories from our Residents: Victoria’s New Home at Victory Village

Four years ago, Victoria received a notice from her landlord that her rent was increasing by $250 and that is the moment when her struggles began. The increase was more than she could manage with her car payment and the vet bills for her three cats. At the time, she was working in San Francisco and commuting from her apartment in Corte Madera. Victoria had a long and successful career as an office manager and executive assistant, and she never imagined she would find herself priced out of the rental market. She moved in with a friend and a little later found herself laid off from her job. 

“I just never thought I’d be homeless,” says Victoria. “I became homeless because of the cost of living.”

Over the past few years, she stayed with a couple of friends and a cousin, but in end she found her best and only option was to stay in shelters. She found navigating the resources available to people experiencing homelessness to be daunting, but she did her best to attend resource meetings, use the computers at the library, and connect with others. Thankfully, she was able to eventually find a home at A link to: Victory Village, an RCD senior community in Fairfax, where she could regain stability.Victoria, Shaun and dog

“I just knew in my heart that I wouldn’t be homeless forever,” she added.I got the call the day after Christmas about this apartment. I was really glad to find this place. It is such a relief to have a place of my own.” 

“Everyone here at Victory Village is so nice. They really are – and very helpful and friendly,” Victoria says. “I feel so secure, knowing my rent isn’t suddenly going to be raised by $1,000 and both Shaun [RCD’s Resident Services Coordinator] and David [Property Manager] are here if I need something.”

Victoria is thriving in her new home, receiving support from an In-Home Support Services (IHSS) health aide and recently adopted a lively and loving senior dog, Jake.

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