Affordable Housing Renovation Brings New Life to an Empty Building


Media Contact: Susan Friedland, Executive Director

Affordable Housing Renovation Brings New Life to an Empty Building

With the help from Contra Costa County, Satellite Affordable Housing Associates (SAHA) was able to turn a vacant and foreclosed building in Concord in to affordable apartments for low-income families, and individual with special needs.

February 13, 2015 – Concord, CA. On Wednesday, February 18, Satellite Affordable Housing Associates (SAHA) will cut the ribbon on Robin Lane Apartments, 16 units of affordable housing for low-income families, and individuals with special needs. The renovated apartment building includes five (5) one bedroom and eleven (11) two bedroom units affordable to households earning between 30% and 50% of the area median income. Residents will receive voluntary on-site services including support and activities such as financial literacy training, small business development, coffee hours, field trips, health screenings, grocery assistance, parent support groups, and housing retention services.

Highlighting the overwhelming need for projects like Robin Lane, there were more than 400 qualified applicants, and there is currently a waiting list for all of the units.

According to SAHA Executive Director Susan Friedland, “Robin Lane Apartments is a great example of what is possible when we all partner together to bring innovative solutions to the ever growing need for affordable housing. As a previously vacant and foreclosed property, Robin Lane was a blight on the neighborhood. Today, it is a welcoming and vibrant home for 15 families, and individuals with special needs. This project highlights the benefit affordable housing can bring, not just to low-income residents, but also to our larger communities.”

Located at the corner of Meadow and Robin Lane in Concord, the property is convenient to shops, groceries, and services along Monument Boulevard. The site is also served by several County Connection bus lines, including direct service to the Concord BART station. These amenities, often taken for granted, are vital to helping low-income residents build better lives, and along with housing, are the building block for opportunity and self-sufficiency.

The property was previously bank owned and vacant of tenants, and in need of serious health and safety repairs. SAHA renovated the building to make necessary repairs, improve energy efficiency, and enhance curb appeal. Most of the units required environmental remediation and extensive improvements, including repair or replacement of items such as flooring, bathroom fixtures, kitchen cabinets, windows, exhaust fans, kitchen appliances, and porches. Exterior handrails, stairs, landscaping, fencing, and paving was repaired and/or upgraded to improve safety and the overall look of the property.

These improvements will not only provide a healthier environment for tenants, but will save energy and resources, and reduce operation costs, ensuring sustainable affordable housing for generations of Concord residents.

Funding comes from Contra Costa County, Enterprise Community Investment, Inc., Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, Bank of the West, California Housing Finance Agency, and Contra Costa Mental Health Services Act. Design provided by architect, Richard Tapp, and construction by Lead Abatement, Inc.