Photograph of the front and side facades of a five-story apartment building, broken into two masses and seen from the street.
A top-down view of a courtyard with tables and chairs between two masses of a five-story apartment building.
A top view of a nearly-complete five-story apartment building, topped with banks of solar panels.
Photograph of four residents and volunteers planting seedlings in the raised beds of a rooftop community garden.
Photograph of an indoor lobby opened to a sunny outdoor courtyard separated from the street by a transparent glass wall.

 

Home >Case Studies >Oakland, California: Award-Winning Design at the Lakeside Senior Apartments

 

Oakland, California: Award-Winning Design at the Lakeside Senior Apartments

 

Located on the southern shore of Lake Merritt in Oakland’s Eastlake neighborhood, Lakeside Senior Apartments is an affordable development for low-income, formerly homeless, and special needs seniors. Codeveloped by Satellite Affordable Housing Associates (SAHA) in partnership with Oakland Housing Authority (OHA) and managed by SAHA, Lakeside opened in 2015 and is one of the few affordable housing options for seniors at risk of being displaced by Oakland’s rising housing costs. The building was designed with the target population in mind, with features that facilitate the ability of residents to age in place. This design, which includes 91 one-bedroom units and ample community space for activities and service delivery, earned Lakeside the 2016 American Institute of Architects (AIA)/HUD Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Affordable Housing Design.

Context and Background

The city of Oakland is enduring a housing crisis, in which rising costs and a shortage of affordable units are driving the displacement of longtime residents. In 2015, the rental vacancy rate in Oakland was less than 3 percent, and rents had increased by 38 percent from 2014 levels. At the same time, the area’s population of seniors has been increasing; between 2000 and 2010, the number of senior households rose by 6.2 percent to 28,796. More than 73 percent of these senior households, 19,885 of which are low- or very low-income, pay more than one-third of their monthly income toward housing costs. Because Oakland’s senior residents are at particular risk of displacement, nonprofit affordable housing developer SAHA, then Satellite Housing, and OHA joined forces to begin the land assembly process for Lakeside Senior Apartments.

Beginning in 2008, the two entities acquired four parcels of land in the medium-density neighborhood of Eastlake, at a location attractive for its lakeside views and proximity to retail, outdoor amenities, and public transit. The largest of the parcels contained an underused parking lot owned by the HUD-assisted senior residence Rose of Sharon, which agreed to sell the land if the new building replaced the lost parking units. The remaining lots consisted of a disused trolley right-of-way and two irregular parcels occupied by blighted buildings. “The views of Lake Merritt are stunning,” reports OHA deputy executive director Philip Neville. Once both parties obtained the land, they transferred it in its entirety to OHA, which leased it to SAHA, the general managing partner and lead developer. Oakland Housing Initiatives, Inc. (OHI), a nonprofit affiliate of OHA, then joined SAHA as a special limited partner to ensure the development’s affordability in perpetuity.

Design and Program

Lakeside has 91 one-bedroom apartments for seniors aged 55 and over earning no more than 50 percent of the area median income, with 32 of those units reserved for seniors who have special needs or are formerly homeless. A single two-bedroom unit is occupied by an onsite manager. Each resident unit is subsidized by an attached project-based housing choice voucher, which OHA secures through the Moving to Work demonstration program. OHA is one of 39 public housing agencies (PHAs) to participate in the demonstration, which grants PHAs additional flexibility to use federal funds to expand affordable housing.

Five stories high, Lakeside is divided into two towers linked by a courtyard on the ground floor and sunny hallways on upper floors. An underground parking garage provides 59 spaces for staff and residents of Lakeside and the neighboring Rose of Sharon development. The building’s design promotes engagement with the neighborhood, accessibility, the effective delivery of services, and environmental sustainability. All units in the LEED Platinum-certified development include ENERGY STAR® appliances, solar-heated hot water, and construction materials with low or no volatile organic compounds. To ensure that the project fit into the scale of the neighborhood, architect David Baker opted for a division of mass, with the building stepping down toward the lake. The use of setbacks and bays to reduce the width of the building as its height increases further minimizes obstruction of the lake views of nearby residences. This split-volume design also encourages a sense of connectedness with the neighborhood because the central courtyard, a flexible indoor-outdoor space that can merge with the central lobby through vertically retracting glass doors, is visible from the street. To further promote engagement and discourage isolation, each ground-floor unit has its own external door and stoop, with a path that connects to the public sidewalk.

Lakeside’s interior features wide hallways interspersed with alcoves and nooks for rest and socializing. Each floor has its own laundry room and sitting area and is decorated in a different color scheme to facilitate wayfinding. All units are designed to be accessible, with universal design features including low- or no-threshold doors, lever doorknobs, and lowered cabinets. These design elements, combined with SAHA’s Case Management and transportation programs, help residents continue living independently as their needs change.

Community spaces located throughout the building are used for socializing, events, and the delivery of support services, such as referrals and wellness activities. Amenities include two community rooms with kitchens, a TV lounge, ground-floor classrooms, a computer lab, and a library. The ground floor includes office space for onsite management. The top floor houses a suite of community spaces, including a wellness studio and outdoor decks with rooftop community garden plots. Residents can attend bilingual classes on a range of topics, maintain a garden plot alone or in cooperation with a community volunteer, and participate in special events.

Financing

Lakeside Senior Apartments received 9 percent low-income housing tax credits from the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, which were sold to Wells Fargo and generated the bulk of the project’s $33.6 million in financing.

Table 1: Lakeside Senior Apartments Financing

 

Low-income housing tax credit equity

$21,248,511

 

 

California Community Reinvestment Corporation mortgage

3,300,000

 

 

Multifamily Housing Program loan (California Department of Housing and Community Development)

4,794,000

 

 

Oakland Housing Authority loan

3,443,000

 

 

Affordable Housing Program grant (Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco)

890,000

 

 

SAHA

5,100

 

 

Total

$33,680,611

 

 

The remaining funds were assembled from a combination of public and private sources. Notably, OHA issued $3.4 million in mortgage financing, and SAHA was required to make a small $5,100 contribution to serve as managing partner. SAHA and OHI split the development fee.

A Vibrant Senior Community

As of May 2017, Lakeside is fully occupied and the waiting list, which filled quickly, is closed. Deni Adaniya, a senior development program manager at OHA who was involved with project management at Lakeside, describes the development as “vibrant and lively,” with a strong sense of enthusiasm. After opening the application process, SAHA received 2,400 applications in 2 weeks, requiring a lottery to select residents — a startling demonstration of the high demand for affordable senior housing in the area. Although the project faced some opposition from neighbors during the entitlements process due to its density, SAHA executive director Susan Friedland reports active community engagement, with neighbors often participating in Lakeside activities as volunteers. In addition to the AIA/HUD Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Affordable Housing Design, Lakeside also won the 2016 Affordable Housing Finance magazine’s Readers’ Choice award in the category of senior housing.


 

Source:

Satellite Affordable Housing Associates. “Lakeside Senior Apartments.” Accessed 12 May 2017; American Institute of Architects. 2017. “2016 AIA/HUD Secretary’s Awards: Lakeside Senior Apartments.” Accessed 12 May 2017.

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Source:

PolicyLink and City of Oakland, California. 2015. “A Roadmap Toward Equity: Housing Solutions for Oakland, California.” Accessed 24 May 2017.

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Source:

David Baker and Daniel Simons. 2015. “Constraints and Creativity Shape Affordable Housing for Seniors in Oakland, California,” Urban Land, 2 October. Accessed 16 May 2017; Interview with Philip Neville and Deni Adaniya, senior development program manager, Oakland Housing Authority, 23 May 2017.

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Source:

Satellite Affordable Housing Associates. “Lakeside Senior Apartments.” Accessed 12 May 2017; Interview with Philip Neville and Deni Adaniya, senior development program manager, Oakland Housing Authority, 23 May 2017; Correspondence from Susan Friedland, executive director of Satellite Affordable Housing Associates. 26 May 2017; David Baker and Daniel Simons. 2015. “Constraints and Creativity Shape Affordable Housing for Seniors in Oakland, California,” Urban Land, 2 October. Accessed 12 May 2017.

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Source:

David Baker Architects. n.d. “Lakeside Senior Apartments.” Accessed 15 May 2017;

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Source:

Oakland Housing Authority. n.d. “Lakeside Senior Housing.” Accessed 15 May 2017; Interview with Philip Neville and Deni Adaniya, senior development program manager, Oakland Housing Authority, 23 May 2017; Correspondence from Susan Friedland, executive director of Satellite Affordable Housing Associates, 26 May 2017.

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Source:

Correspondence from Susan Friedland, executive director of Satellite Affordable Housing Associates, 26 May 2017; Satellite Affordable Housing Associates. 2015. “New Affordable Apartments Provide Oakland Seniors With Housing Choices,” press release, 10 July. Accessed 15 May 2017; David Baker Architects. n.d. “Lakeside Senior Apartments.” Accessed 15 May 2017.

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Source:

Interview with Philip Neville and Deni Adaniya, senior development program manager, Oakland Housing Authority, 23 May 2017.

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Source:

Interview with Philip Neville and Deni Adaniya, senior development program manager, Oakland Housing Authority, 23 May 2017.

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Source:

Christine Serlin. 2016. “AHF Announces Winners of 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards.” Affordable Housing Finance, 20 September. Accessed 31 May 2017; Correspondence from Susan Friedland, 26 May 2017; Interview with Philip Neville and Deni Adaniya, Oakland Housing Authority, 23 May 2017.

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