EAH Housing to build 76 affordable homes in Hayward

Project includes 65 apartments for low-income seniors and 15 units for formerly homeless

EAH Housing's Laura Hall and 28000 Mission Boulevard
EAH Housing's Laura Hall and 28000 Mission Boulevard (EAH Housing)

EAH Housing has broken ground on an all-affordable housing complex for low-income seniors and homeless residents in Hayward.

The nonprofit affordable housing developer based in San Rafael is building Mission Paradise, a 76-unit complex at 28000 Mission Boulevard, the San Jose Mercury News reported. It will replace three vacant lots.

Hayward Mayor Mark Salinas said the project makes Hayward a leader in affordable housing for the East Bay.

“We’re leading the East Bay in providing housing for all income levels,” Salinas said during the groundbreaking. “I’d put us up against anybody.”

Mission Paradise, when completed in 2025, will include two four-story apartment buildings on 2 acres at Mission and Webster and Hancock streets near the South Hayward BART station.

Plans call for 76 apartments, with 65 units for low-income seniors who earn between 20 percent and 80 percent of area median income. The remaining 15 units will be set aside for formerly homeless residents, including 11 for households with a person with a severe mental illness, according to Real Estate Weekly.

The complex will have community and exercise rooms, on-site laundry, roof and yoga decks, a computer lab, parking, and 24/7 staff. There will be a resource coordinator for all units and case management services for the 15 formerly homeless households.

The project is designed by Pleasanton-based Dahlin Group.

The site had once been targeted for 76 condominiums, more than half of them reserved for seniors. In 2018, an entity known as Mission Paradise had filed plans for the twin buildings, to pay an in-lieu fee rather than include affordable housing. It’s not clear how it fell by the wayside.

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Funding for the 100-percent affordable complex was its primary challenge, according to Welton Jordan, EAH Housing’s chief real estate development officer.

It took money from the city, the county and the state to get the project off the ground, he said.  Hayward pitched in the first $6 million. The state Department of Housing and Community Development provided another $50 million.

Hayward’s mayor believes such projects are vital to the city’s future. By 2050, an estimated one in five Alameda County residents will be seniors.

Affordable housing developments can have a stigma attached that leads to community opposition. The contemporary look of Mission Paradise, in gray offset by Cape Cod blue surrounded by balconies, aims to upend that notion.

“People have a misconception about affordable housing and what that means,” Clarice Veloso-Lugo, spokeswoman for EAH Housing, told the Mercury News. “They think it means public housing of the ’70s, but it’s not.”

EAH Housing, founded in 1968, has developed more than 106 properties at a cost of $2.2 billion, and manages more than 230 complexes in 92 cities in California and Hawaii, according to its website. It has another project in the works for Hayward.

Its development projects include teaming up with Republic Urban Properties to build 328 apartments with shops and restaurants in South San Jose, including 89 affordable units. In October, it filed plans to build a 90-unit, all-affordable complex in Los Altos.

— Dana Bartholomew

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