Alta Madrone Wins Readers' Choice Award

By Christine Serlin  |  Affordable Housing Finance  | July 29, 2022

The 48-unit Alta Madrone in Sonoma, California, is meeting the pressing need for affordable housing in the popular wine region that has seen escalating housing costs and devastating wildfires in recent years.

“Like many of the Bay Area communities, housing has become very expensive and in high demand in Sonoma,” says Eve Stewart, vice president of real estate development at nonprofit Satellite Affordable Housing Associates (SAHA). “Sonoma has an economy that is a mix of agriculture and tourism, which can exacerbate the need for affordable housing. Layered on top of that has been the devastating fires over the past couple of years, which has wiped out many communities and made it hard to find housing of any type.”

The city of Sonoma and Sonoma County selected SAHA to develop the affordable housing on a county-owned site. It’s the densest multifamily development to date in Sonoma, but SAHA took care to stay in scale with the surrounding suburban neighborhood by clustering the apartments in eight two-story buildings.

Alta Madrone serves households earning between 30% and 80% of the area median income; 11 units are set aside for project-based voucher recipients from the Sonoma County Housing Authority, and 10 have HUD-VASH vouchers for formerly homeless veteran households managed by the Santa Rosa Housing Authority.

Households benefit from services provided by SAHA and local partner La Luz Center as well as individual case management for HUD-VASH residents. The all-electric development features a number of amenities, including a community garden, picnic tables, and a clubhouse with internet workstations, a laundry room, and a community room with a kitchen that opens up to a playground.

The $28.8 million development received support from the city and country as well as qualified as a rural property in the state’s competitive 9% low-income housing tax credit program.


DEVELOPER: Satellite Affordable Housing Associates
ARCHITECT: PYATOK architecture + urban design
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Midstate Construction
MAJOR FUNDERS: Wells Fargo; California Tax Credit Allocation Committee; California Community Reinvestment Corp.; city of Sonoma; Sonoma County Community Development Commission; Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco; Sonoma County Housing Authority; Santa Rosa Housing Authority

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