Stone walkway between slat-walled townhomes and slat-walled apartment building
An all-affordable housing development opened near downtown Sunnyvale, with 82 apartments and 7 townhomes targeted, which includes housing for families with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Photo by B. Sakura Cannestra.

Dozens of affordable homes near Sunnyvale’s downtown are ready to welcome hundreds of residents.

City officials celebrated the opening of Meridian Apartments on Tuesday. The 1.44-acre all-affordable 89-home project is a mix of apartments — from studios to three-bedrooms — and seven townhouses located within walking distance of the city’s downtown and Caltrain station. Rents range from $1,515 to $1,827 a month for a studio, up to $2,227 to $3,619 for a three-bedroom apartment.

Developer Related California, the Santa Clara County Housing Authority, the county’s Office of Supportive Housing, Google and Wells Fargo Bank, among others, partnered with the city on the project.

Related California spokesperson Nate Galvan couldn’t confirm how many homes have been leased to date, but did say they received more than 800 housing applications. Residents are being selected in multiple ways, including a lottery and Section 8 housing, which is government subsidized.

Exterior of building with floor to ceiling glass entrance and name "Meridian" over the doorway, and address number 407 on a planter in front of entrance
An all-affordable housing development has opened near downtown Sunnyvale, with 82 apartments and seven townhomes. Photo by B. Sakura Cannestra.

Twenty-three homes have been set aside for families with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The project has a variety of on-site support services, with Project Access providing social services for all residents and Housing Choices Coalition supporting residents with disabilities.

“I’m just overjoyed to finally open the doors,” Mayor Larry Klein told San José Spotlight. “It’s affordable, it’s income based, but it’s also providing that space for intellectually and developmentally disabled households, which isn’t a large portion of a lot of the affordable housing that’s being built.”

The building was built on land owned by the city, which Klein said helps developers by removing permitting and cost barriers. The city also owns a nearby plot of land, which he hopes will be another affordable housing project.

Sunnyvale has to account for 11,966 new homes by 2031, with 6,709 below market rate, based on the state’s requirements. The city would have to facilitate building 1,496 homes, with 839 below market rate, every year until 2031 to hit that goal.

Construction on Meridian Apartments began in October 2021. Consuelo Hernandez, director for the county’s Office of Supportive Housing, said supply chain issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic made the project’s future uncertain, as it wasn’t clear when construction supplies might arrive. She said it’s fulfilling to see the project open now.

“When we got to the groundbreaking, that in itself was a milestone, but then being able to get here today … that’s why we do this work,” Hernandez told San José Spotlight. “It’s achieving all the goals that the board set for us and seeing it happen today.”

A potential bond coming to the November 2024 ballot would put billions back into affordable housing, as the county’s $950 million in funding from 2016’s Measure A dries up. The new bond, spearheaded by the Bay Area Housing Finance Authority via the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, could bring more than $2 billion to Santa Clara County.

Kitchen, living room and bathroom of new townhome with wood flooring and one person opening a closet door to show another the interior
One of seven townhomes opening at the Meridian Apartments, which has three bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms. Photo by B. Sakura Cannestra.

There are 65 housing projects approved throughout the county, though 17 have yet to be fully financed, Hernandez said. There’s another 100 projects that are yet to be approved and still seeking funding.

Among the speakers at the opening was Lissa Keyes, who is moving into the building with her three children, between the ages of 4 and 9. Keyes said she previously fled from domestic violence and had been homeless with her children, who were excited about their new two-bedroom apartment. She said it’s the first time they’ve ever had their own room.

“I know that there’s always light at the end of the tunnel, and the lights shine so bright over here,” Keyes said.

Contact B. Sakura Cannestra at [email protected] or @SakuCannestra on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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