Newark approves $12M loan for affordable housing project on Thornton Avenue

NEWARK, Calif. — The Newark City Council has given its unanimous approval for a $12 million loan to Satellite Affordable Housing Associates to develop a new affordable housing project in the city. The nonprofit organization, which specializes in developing and managing affordable housing communities throughout Alameda County, is expected to use the funds to construct a five-story, 54-unit affordable housing project on Thornton Avenue.

“I’m really excited about this project,” Newark Mayor Michael Hannon said ahead of the vote, adding that he appreciated the units with multiple bedrooms for families, which is a critical need.

Current plans for the all-electric building include 26 one-bedroom apartments, 15 two-bedroom apartments and 16 three-bedroom apartments, along with a community room and courtyard. It is intended to address the need for affordable housing options for low-income families and individuals in the Newark community, targeting households making 30% to 60% of the area median income, which is $144,011, according to census data.

The nonprofit is expected to conduct community outreach to refine the proposal in coming months, with permit applications set to be submitted in summer. The building is scheduled to be complete and fully occupied by the end of 2027.

The 57-year, 3% loan will cover about 25% of the project’s costs, including $4.3 million to buy the land and acquire permits, as well as $7.8 million for construction. The remaining funding for the $48.8 million project is expected to come from state and federal low-income housing tax credits, the state’s housing programs, and federal loans, along with a handful of other sources.

The $12 million came from the city’s Affordable Housing Impact Fee Fund, which Newark City Manager David Benoun said has $23.3 million remaining.

Steven Turner, the city’s community development director, said that the city is working with the county and its consulting team to conduct a local preference study, exploring the feasibility of prioritizing Newark residents when housing becomes available. They expect to make progress on the study in the coming year so that the city can consider adopting an ordinance codifying the preference for local residents for housing.

“In lieu of having an official ordinance or policy, we have been able to get the word out in the community about affordable housing opportunities within Newark,” Turner said.

Newark City Council member Mike Bucci said that is important because the nonprofit’s senior housing in the city doesn’t have any locals, and keeping Newark residents in the city is important.

Kristy Wang, with the city’s affordable housing consultant Community Planning Collaborative, said the project aligns with the city’s broader plans for developing housing and the city could foreclose the land if the developer fell behind schedule and failed to extend deadlines.

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