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Richmond community celebrates the groundbreaking, revitalization of shuttered Hacienda affordable housing complex

RICHMOND, CALIF. – City of Richmond officials joined Mercy Housing California (MHC) and Community Housing Development Corporation of North Richmond (CHDC) to celebrate the groundbreaking and revitalization of Hacienda – a 150-unit affordable housing complex near Downtown Richmond that has been shuttered since 2015.

Among the many people in attendance of the virtual groundbreaking ceremony to commemorate the start of Hacienda’s revitalization process was Richmond Mayor Tom Butt. To help close Hacienda in 2015, Mayor Butt spent his early months in office working alongside Congressman Mark DeSaulnier to secure enough Housing Choice Vouchers from HUD to help tenants relocate to adequate affordable housing. For the mayor, reopening a new and improved Hacienda has been a top goal throughout his terms in office.

“The transfer of Hacienda to Mercy Housing and CHDC is a win for everyone,” said Mayor Tom Butt. “Hundreds of low-income residents will move into renovated units just a few blocks from the Richmond Transit Center, the Housing Authority will move out of property management, and the city will no longer be pulled in to subsidize the site. These are benefits that I’d like to see replicated at Housing Authority-owned sites around the city,” Mayor Butt continued.

Originally completed in 1966, Hacienda – a housing complex formerly owned and operated by the Richmond Housing Authority – closed due to onsite conditions reported by residents and a shortage of resources to maintain the large housing development. The revitalization of Hacienda led by Mercy Housing California – a nationally recognized affordable housing organization – and CHDC – a local leader in housing development and management – represents a long-awaited bright future for the large six-story affordable housing complex. In their partnership, Mercy Housing is the General Partner at 75% and CHDC is the Administrative General Partner at 25%.

“Mercy Housing is inspired by Richmond’s commitment to people living with low incomes, and we thank Mayor Butt, Congressman DeSaulnier, The City of Richmond, and CHDC for coming together to support the Hacienda community. These homes serve those most in need, and thanks to the dedication of our partners, Hacienda will help fill the need for stable affordable homes,” said Doug Shoemaker, President, Mercy Housing California.

“We have an affordable housing crisis in the Bay Area, and CHDC is committed to being a part of the solution,” said Don Gilmore, Executive Director of CHDC. “Over the past 30 years, as a Bay Area community-based housing developer, we have historically been committed to providing this essential foundation for individuals, families, and seniors. Through the partnership with Mercy Housing to revitalize Hacienda, we can continue to focus on the well-being of the Richmond community by ensuring a safe neighborhood with access to services, shopping, and public transit.”

In addition to the leadership of Mercy Housing California and CHDC, residents will return to Hacienda with the help of Chase, which is helping to finance the development’s revitalization. For Chase, reopening Hacienda is an example of the bank’s ongoing commitment to helping Bay Area residents afford to stay in their communities.

“There’s been an ongoing need for affordable housing in the Bay Area and we continue to be committed to working with local leaders like Mercy Housing California and Community Housing Development Corporation of North Richmond to create and revitalize safe and quality places to live,” said James Vossoughi, Vice President, Community Development Banking, Chase. “The revitalization of Hacienda is critical to providing the Richmond community with more affordable housing options.”

While the overall layout of the existing building will remain the same, significant design changes will be made to make the building more pedestrian friendly, secure, and community-oriented. Designed by Pyatok Architects, one of the major improvements is to move the buildings’ main entrance away from the Roosevelt Avenue portion of the site and onto Marina Way. This entry way change will shorten the distance residents have to travel to BART and the AC Transit bus stop along Barrett Ave. The Marina Way cul-de-sac adjacent to the building will serve as a pick-up and drop-off zone for residents.

Revitalization of the development will also generate increased community space and office space on the ground floor, infrastructure improvements around the site such as increased connectivity to the bike lanes and the Richmond Wellness Trail, a community garden and improvements to the development’s internal courtyard, and new public art. The building will also undergo a significant structural retrofit, including full height concrete bracing at the exterior of the building in key locations along the facades, and new shear walls and new collector beams installed on the roof. The building will also undergo significant energy efficiency upgrades.

The revitalization of Hacienda is expected to cost $75 million dollars and Mercy Housing and CHDC expect the development to reopen for residents towards the end of 2022. A more detailed project description for Hacienda is provided below.

Hacienda Project Description
Hacienda is a 150 unit affordable housing complex, completed in 1966, located at 1300 Roosevelt Avenue in Richmond, California. Hacienda has 150 units, including 12 two bedroom units, 114 one bedroom units and 24 studios. 148 of the units will be for residents, with two managers units. The partnership of Mercy Housing California (MHC) and Community Housing Development Corporation of North Richmond (CHDC) to revitalize Hacienda was was awarded the RFP by the Richmond Housing Authority.

While the overall layout of the existing building will remain the same, design changes will be made to make the building more pedestrian friendly, secure, and community-oriented. Designed by Pyatok Architects, one of the major improvements is to move the buildings’ main entrance onto the Marina Way side of the site. This will shorten the distance residents have to walk to BART and the AC Transit bus stop along Barrett Ave. The Marina Way cul-de-sac also lends itself to be a nice pick-up and drop-off zone.

Additionally, vehicular traffic will also enter via Marina Way. Bringing cars onto Marina Way, which has a traffic light, will provide a safer entry while also reducing traffic on neighborhood scale on 13th Street. This means that residents coming via foot, bike, or car, will enter via the main entrance, as opposed to the back of the building. This allows for more social interactions to occur, as well as improving security with a centralized entry point. The parking lot and associated landscaping will also help create a buffer from the railroad tracks running along the east side of the site. On the 13th Street side, an entrance will still be maintained, but only as a service entry for maintenance and staff. The maintenance and garbage rooms will be relocated to the back of the building, near this service entry but still close to the elevator.

Not only will the entrance be relocated, but an addition will be built out here to create a more defined entrance onto Marina Way. It will also house additional community and office spaces for the staff needed to operate the building. These offices will look out onto Marina Way, the lobby, elevators, and courtyard, helping to improve security and increase the amount of interactions that staff have with residents. The community room will be relocated so it will open up onto the courtyard, activating this historically underused space, and new meeting rooms for social services will also be located facing the courtyard. The courtyard will be programmed with seating, bbq pits, and a community garden to generate usage. The building will also undergo a significant structural retrofit.

Due to the disrepair, the scope of the rehab to be performed by Nibbi Brothers is extensive, basically requiring all new units and building systems. There will also be an extensive lead/asbestos abatement program of the building. Additionally, all windows are to be replaced with energy efficient and acoustical rated windows. The units are to be fully renovated with new kitchens, i.e. cabinets, countertops, sinks, and appliances, and new bathrooms, i.e. new bathtubs, toilets, and sinks. The flooring and wall finishes are to be replaced in all units. The units will have new fresh air ventilation systems, as well as baseboard heaters and bathroom exhaust fans. The existing elevated walkway balconies will receive new waterproof traffic coating, and all existing rails are to be refurbished and painted in place. The two elevators are to be replaced within the existing elevator hoistway and new machinery systems will be placed in the existing elevator machine room. At the existing exterior stairs, perforated panel guardrails will be installed to comply with today’s current building code. The building will get a new roof, and a PV system will also be installed, along with roof anchors for exterior building maintenance. There will be all new mechanical, ventilation, heating, electrical, fire alarm, security systems and fire sprinklers in the ground floor common areas. Hacienda will be an all-electric building utilizing a heat pump central boiler system. Hacienda is pursuing Green Point Rated Existing Home Multifamily program (GPR) an energy efficiency certification, under the rehabilitation program. Hacienda is committing to a 20% improvement in the energy efficiency compared to the existing building.

Population and Resident Services
Hacienda will house a senior population aged 62 and older. Twenty-five units will be for formerly homeless seniors, 15 units for frail elderly, and 108 units for low-income seniors making less than 50% AMI. Hacienda will have onsite resident services and case management with amenities to serve the senior population. MHC will provide resident services, and Hope Solutions will provide case management to the 25 formerly homeless seniors.

Hacienda will offer daily services for seniors free of charge. These services include, but are not limited to, instruction-led educational health and wellness, or skill building classes. Additionally, Hacienda will have health and wellness services and programs, including but are not limited to visiting nurses’ program, intergenerational visiting programs, and senior companion programs. Services will be designed to generate positive change in the lives of the tenants, such as increase tenant knowledge of and access to available services, helping tenants maintain stability and prevent eviction, building like skills, increasing household income and assets, and increasing health and wellbeing.

Financing
Sources of funding for Hacienda include a tax-exempt permanent loan, an RHA seller carryback loan for the value of the building improvements, HOME/CDBG funds from Contra Costa County, Multifamily Housing Program (MHP) funds from the State Department of Housing and Community Development, a general partner capital contribution, and a private donation from the Ferguson Foundation which will be structured as a general partner loan to the project from MHC. The project will also have 148 Section 8 vouchers on a 20-year HAP contract with a 20-year renewal, provided by the Housing Authority of Contra Costa County.