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History of SAHA

In 2013, Satellite Housing and Affordable Housing Associates combined talented staff and innovative programs to become Satellite Affordable Housing Associates.

Satellite Housing (Satellite) was founded in 1966 with a mission to provide affordable, service-enriched housing that promotes healthy and dignified living for people with limited options. By 2012 Satellite included 28 properties with 1,700 homes, serving approximately 1,800 low-income residents and employing over 120 staff.

Affordable Housing Associates (AHA) was founded in 1993 with a mission to create and preserve high-quality affordable housing communities that strengthen individuals, families and neighborhoods. In 20 years AHA grew to include 28 properties with approximately 900 homes, serving approximately 1,400 residents with a total staff of 50 employees.

Both Satellite and AHA expanded rapidly in the decade leading up to the merger, significantly increasing their impact, reputation, and financial position in spite of an increasingly challenging economic environment. When Satellite’s Executive Director left for a new position in early 2012, Satellite’s Board of Directors saw the leadership search as an opportunity to explore the possibility of affiliating with another nonprofit with a similar mission, culture, and values. The foremost candidate was AHA, also Berkeley-based, and with a strong history of success.

Both organizations were financially robust, award-winning and on trajectories for growth. Through a careful due diligence process, board and staff at both nonprofits evaluated the potential merger. In the face of outstanding need and a changing financing climate, we saw clear opportunities in bringing together more than 66 years of combined experience in a spirit of innovation and thoughtful risk-taking. 

In July 2012 the Boards of Satellite and AHA voted unanimously to create Satellite Affordable Housing Associates, to create a more impactful organization and a model for affordable housing development that can serve our communities well into the future. On December 12, 2012, SAHA came into legal existence with 170 talented staff, 22 development projects in the pipeline and 56 properties under management.