Manteca Builds Affordable Senior Apartments
With home prices climbing and affordable rentals becoming scarcer in the area, finding affordable housing has become a challenge for many low-income residents, particularly seniors, many of whom live on fixed incomes. According to the Census 2000, 11 percent (5,409) of the population in Manteca were over the age of 62. The Manteca city council and redevelopment agency have made it a priority to actively pursue development of affordable housing for the community’s seniors.
In 2000 the Manteca Redevelopment Agency partnered with Eden Housing, a well-known Northern California affordable-housing developer, to build Almond Terrace Senior Apartments, a 50-unit affordable senior-housing complex using HUD 202, HOME, and redevelopment agency funds. Located on 2.4 acres, this project provides affordable apartments for seniors who are age 62 or older and who earn 50 percent or less of the area median income. Tenants pay rent equal to 30 percent of their incomes.
The project consists of seven buildings: four two-story buildings connected with balcony walkways and served by an elevator, two one-story buildings, and a central community building for senior activities and management offices. Each residential unit has a front entry porch and rear patio area, providing the residents with a source of pride and sense of ownership. To meet the special needs of the senior residents, all units and public spaces are designed to be wheelchair accessible or adaptable, and grab bars are installed in all public and unit bathrooms. Three units are outfitted for full-disability accessibility.
Project amenities include a 1,840 square foot community building with a furnished lobby, a community room, a kitchen, a laundry room and two offices – one for the manager and one for the service coordinator. The community building is designed to host activities and events for residents, such as programs sponsored by the Manteca Senior Center along with other educational, social and recreational activities. The project also includes gardens, manicured lawns, beautifully landscaped areas, and a community patio for group activities.
Presently, a service coordinator works with the Manteca Senior Center to help coordinate senior activities for the apartments’ residents. Located less than two miles from the site, the Manteca Senior Center has abundant social, educational, informational, and recreational services and classes dedicated to area seniors.
Almond Terrace is also well served by shopping and transportation. A shopping plaza with a full-service grocery store, pharmacy, restaurants and other neighborhood-serving retailers is located across the street. Steps away from the site there is a local bus line which stops, among other destinations, at the Manteca Civic Center where the Senior Center is located, Doctors Hospital, and Kaiser Foundation Hospital and Medical Center.
A year after its grand opening in April of 2004, the complex is fully occupied and its waiting list keeps growing. This demonstrates the current need for affordable housing for seniors in the area. As a result, the Manteca Redevelopment Agency and a non-profit housing developer are partnering in developing at least 40 more units of affordable housing for seniors on 2.1 acres immediately adjacent to Almond Terrace. It is the goal of this partnership to provide a high quality development that is just as successful as Almond Terrace.