"Once this [housing] became available and I wanted to get back to Hayward, I jumped on the opportunity…I used to have to travel from Oakland to Hayward back and forth, back and forth. Now, I’m centrally located where all of my business is…It’s very convenient. I can bike to anywhere in this area. If I want to go further downtown, I can just hop on the bike and go.”
"I feel comfortable and much . . . safer and secure here than where I was before. Because I can afford it. Over there, you know I didn't know whether I was going to be able to stay the next month because they kept going up on the rent."
Downtown hayward senior apartments
Russell and Lincoln are both residents of the AHSC-funded affordable housing project, Downtown Hayward Senior Apartments, which provides 60 affordable units for extremely low, very low, and low-income residents. The building is located less than a five-minute walk from the Hayward BART station, providing easy access to employment and other amenities. It is also walking distance to downtown jobs, as well as shopping and other conveniences. Lincoln explained, "This is what a senior needs, convenience, so that they don't have to worry about how they are going to get where they need to go."
The convenient location of Hayward Senior Apartments is no accident; the AHSC program incentivizes and invests in projects that are located in walking distance to important amenities, such as jobs, transit, groceries, and more. By investing in housing that is close to transit and other amenities, residents like Lincoln and Russell are able to reach destinations without driving a car. The development also provides 16 secure overnight bicycle spaces onsite for residents as well as new bike lockers at the neighborhood BART station. Together, this helps California to meet its climate goals, while also providing improved quality of life for residents. In fact, the project is expected to reduce 11,613 metric tons of carbon dioxide over the life of the project, or the equivalent of reducing 948,775 vehicle miles traveled annually. This AHSC-funded project was developed by Meta Housing Corporation.
"It has helped my family [to have my car at home.] My daughter who is 19 is now going to school further away and she takes the car that I would otherwise drive to work. So, it has helped us a lot."
"Ayuda bastante mi familia [a tener mi propio carro en casa]. Mi hija tiene 19 ya va a la escuela allá y lleva el carro que yo podría manejar a mi trabajo. Entonces nos ha ayudado bastante."
"You don’t need to bring your own car . . . and if [the van] breaks down, they bring you another later, or they help you. They don’t let you down. It’s a good service."
"Uno no corre sus carros uno . . . y si [el van] descompone te traen otro luego o te ayudan. No te dejan. Tiene buen servicio."
"They have good service. You don’t worry about tires. You don’t worry about tune-ups . . . People are more comfortable . . . An accident or something, you have better [insurance]."
"Tiene buen servicio. No se preocupa uno por llanta. No se preocupa uno por chequeos . . . La gente va más cómoda . . . Un accidente, un algo, tiene [el seguro] más mejor."
California vanpool authority expansion project
Leobardo, Rafaela, and Coronado are all agricultural workers in the Central Valley where they harvest and tend to crops that become food for families across the state and the country. Each day, they travel an hour or more across Fresno and Tulare Counties to work the various fields of peaches, nectarines, almonds, and cotton, among others. All three commute using The California Vanpool Authority (CalVans) program. They drive a van, bringing themselves and about a dozen of their colleagues the work sites for the day. Originally started in response to a tragic accident with an unsafe, private van that killed 13 agricultural workers in 2002, CalVans now operates across the state. These vans meet a critical need for workers, who would otherwise need to rent private vans at their own cost or each bring their personal car to the sites, which are often only accessible through dirt roads. The vans are comfortable and safe, and they all include air conditioning, which is critically important in the Central Valley heat.
CalVans received funding in the first round of AHSC, which was used to replace and expand their van fleet for agricultural workers in Fresno and Tulare Counties by purchasing 80 new vans. The new vans are more efficient and come equipped with navigation systems. CalVans also provides maintenance and road-side assistance for drivers to ensure the safety of drivers and riders. As Coronado explained, "I can call them with any problem . . . that’s what I also like the most about the program because I don’t have to fix things. If I puncture a tire, well, I just call them and they quickly bring me another one of the vans . . . They’re there to help you.”
"It’s very needed. There is no affordable housing . . . It’s very important to what kind of society we want in California.”
"Whatever issue I’m dealing with I can go to [the staff], and they’ll get on top of it. And that made me feel accepted. So, I started applying myself to little stuff around here . . . I got into the music program. [The music] does something for me . . . A lot of times I’ll be up in my apartment by myself, and sometimes I drift off into thoughts of stuff I’ve been through, and I get depressed. So, I come up out of that, do something to keep me busy."
"[Living here] allows you to process. Because sometimes you can be in a swamp and not realize it until you move to clear water. It allows me to do that. It reinforces that it’s okay to address my PTSD."
anchor place permanent supportive housing in long beach
Anchor Place is transit-oriented housing in Long Beach, featuring 120 units of affordable, permanent supportive housing. Seventy-five units are reserved for veterans and their families, and 18 are reserved for families who are currently homeless and/or have a mental illness. Residents Cindy, Anthony, and Ayana shared how Anchor Place provides both the housing stability and the on-site services and supportive staff that they need. Cindy, who served in the US Army Reserve for 15 years explained, "Coming to Anchor Place has given me the stability that I need for housing, but also the support . . . This is exactly where I’m supposed to be. If I was out in the community, I would isolate. I would have more difficulty with my mental health recovery.”
Anchor Place is one development within a much larger 27-acre campus of affordable housing and services developed by Century Villages At Cabrillo. It's home to over 1,500 residents, many of whom are veterans. As part of this campus, Anchor Place residents not only have the services and amenities in their building, but they also have easy access to other campus resources, such as a healthcare clinic, social service organizations, a computer lab, music and art programming, and a social hall. Ayana, a veteran and mother, shared the value of the integrated, service-rich community, saying, “This should be the model so that when someone says affordable housing [this is what they picture] . . . You have the apartment, fully furnished, you have rehab, you have US VETS, you have the computer lab, you have psychiatry, you have town hall meetings.”
In addition to partially financing the building, AHSC provided financing for improvements to an existing bus stop and the creation of a new bus stop and transit hub, including new street lighting and pedestrian safety improvements. Residents highlighted the importance of this new bus stop "right outside your front door," which brings bus services inside the campus and directly in front of Anchor Place. This bus service connects residents with the places they need to go, like the VA hospital, shopping, or visiting family. By encouraging transit ridership as well as walking and biking within the campus, the project is expected to reduce 28,369 metric tons of carbon dioxide over the life of the project, or the equivalent of reducing 2,317,742 vehicle miles traveled annually.