New Green Community for Low-wage Workers Opens in Sonoma

Valley Oak Homes Grand Opening
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Program at 3:15 pm
Interviews, Tours & Photos available
875 Lyon Street, Sonoma, CA 95476

In Sonoma a Vibrant New Green Community Welcomes Lowest Wage Workers

September 25, 2013  – Sonoma, CA. Today, Satellite Affordable Housing
Associates (SAHA) and Mayor Ken Brown will cut the ribbon on the City
of Sonoma’s newest exemplar of green building, and the culmination of
a city strategy to increase the supply of housing for low income

Valley Oak Homes provides the City of Sonoma with a vibrant family
community within an environmentally sustainable development.
Countering the extreme shortage of affordable housing for lower wage
workers, this 43-unit rental project serves low to extremely low
income families, with incomes at or below 50% Area Median Income.

According to SAHA Executive Director Susan Friedland, “Valley Oak
Homes offers families working in the city of Sonoma with safe,
comfortable, healthy and environmentally responsible housing coupled
with services from La Luz Center. Homes developed by SAHA are more
than places to live – they are places of support, growth and

Sonoma Mayor Ken Brown sees the project as just the kind of housing
municipal governments should help build. “Valley Oak Homes meets the
highest standards for green building and water-efficiency. It’s also a
welcoming, attractive community for residents. I’m proud of the many
efforts made by the City, SAHA and our partners to ensure this kind of
beautiful, resource-conserving housing is available at fair,
affordable rents to Sonoma families earning the least high wages.”

Designed by McCamant & Durrett Architects, and with construction led
by Segue Construction Company, Valley Oak Homes is a model for
sustainable design. From the site planning to the finish materials,
every effort was made to use design strategies, building systems, and
materials that make long-lasting, resource-efficient, and healthy
homes that will complement the neighborhood and natural environment
for decades to come.

Examples of innovative green features include solar photovoltaic and
thermal panels to provide energy needed for common area lighting and
hot water, permeable paving to allow water to replenish ground water
reserves, bioswales to reduce stormwater runoff, and a grey water
system that recycles water used in the community building for
landscape use. Additional sustainable building measures include the
installation of energy saving appliances, low flow plumbing fixtures,
and improved indoor air quality through the use of no-VOC paints and
adhesives and natural and recycled flooring materials. The project is
expected to achieve a LEED Platinum rating, the highest level possible
in this respected green rating system.

The site plan of the development was inspired by Sonoma’s rich history
of the town square and features a public commons. This large common
open space fronts a clubhouse, which acts as the community hub for the
seven residential buildings and includes a multipurpose room with a
common kitchen, public gathering space, a homework/computer room, a
tenant services office, and a resident manager office. A community
garden and bicycle parking also bring residents together and encourage
healthy living.

The city of Sonoma purchased the site from a private owner in 2008 and
selected AHA (now SAHA) as the developer in 2009. Over the next two
years AHA successfully raised the funding needed for the project
despite the decline in financing sources for affordable housing.
Funding comes from the previous City of Sonoma Redevelopment Agency,
Sonoma County Community Development Commission, Silicon Valley Bank,
Enterprise Community Investment and the Enterprise Community Loan

About Satellite Affordable Housing Associates

SAHA was created when Satellite Housing and Affordable Housing
Associates joined forces. SAHA provides quality affordable homes and
services that empower people and strengthen communities. Based in
Berkeley, SAHA draws on 66 years of experience to operate 56
communities for low-income seniors, families and people with special
needs and provide services to over 2,700 households. SAHA currently
has 21 new projects in development. SAHA’s innovative, high quality
housing communities have received numerous awards including from the
American Institute of Architects, the Golden Nugget and the Urban Land
Institute. Please visit for more information.