Non-profit organization brings affordable housing, energy efficiency and native plants to underutilized site in Palo Alto, California

On December 8, 2022, Alta Housing (formerly Palo Alto Housing), a community-based affordable housing organization—along with Palo Alto Mayor Pat Burt and City Council members—celebrated the opening of Wilton Court Apartments at 3705 El Camino Real in Palo Alto, California.

With a nod to sustainability, each unit has its own water meter, and the community has a rooftop photovoltaic (PV) system and solar hot water panels.

Wilton Court is situated on the underutilized former site of two nondescript single-story commercial/retail buildings.

The site was rezoned to be included in the Affordable Housing Combining District Overlay and was approved by the City Council on January 14, 2019.

The revitalized property now includes native Palo Alto plants and drought-tolerant landscaping. It also boasts eight electric vehicle charging stations.

The new 59-unit residential development provides independent living for a mix of single- and two-person households earning between 30% to 60% of the area median income.

Twenty-one of the units are reserved for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities seeking an independent living environment. The new community includes on-site property manager.

We are very excited to welcome residents to this beautiful, new residential community, which brings permanent, high-quality, affordable housing to many special members of our local community,” said Randy Tsuda, Alta Housing’s President and CEO.

We are grateful to our stakeholders who have supported our efforts to deliver much-needed affordable housing to Palo Alto,” he added.

Located at the corner of El Camino Real and Wilton Avenue in Palo Alto’s Ventura neighborhood, Wilton Court’s residents are within walking distance of a grocery store, retail and restaurants, parks and public bus transportation.

Wilton Court is also situated in the top-rated Palo Alto Unified School District and near a range of community services, employment centers and higher education.

Wilton Court Apartments is Alta Housing’s first all-electric apartment building.

Alta Housing has partnered with two other non-profits, Housing Choices Coalition and San Andreas Regional Center, to better serve the residents with intellectual or developmental disabilities. PAHC Management and Services and Housing Choices are providing resident services, which include case management, activities to promote resident engagement, health and wellness programs, and assistance accessing community resources.

Organized as a simple L-shape atop a garage, the building steps down toward the neighborhood and creates a generous landscaped courtyard sheltered from El Camino Real’s traffic and matches the pattern of neighborhood backyards.

A landscape accent wall provides privacy for residents and neighbors and, with a lighted overhead trellis, creates a cozy outdoor room.

The ground floor also contains a community kitchen, activity room with a computer lab, common laundry, package storage and management offices.

The art at the property features local artists Morgan Bricca, a local mural artist; Ruth-Anne Seigel, a Palo Alto-based fine art painter; and Martin Webb, an Oakland-based artist.

Wilton Court was designed by PYATOK architects and the general contractor was L&D Construction Co., Inc. The Guzzardo Partnership was the landscape architect.

Financing for the $46.3 million development was provided by the City of Palo Alto, Santa Clara County, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Enterprise Community Partners, California Community Reinvestment Corporation, California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, California Department of Housing and Community Development, and California Municipal Finance Authority.

Alta Housing currently has 530 units in its development pipeline with four projects in various phases of development in Mountain View and two in Redwood City. In December 2022, Alta Housing is expecting to have residents move into the 51-unit Casa Esperanza at 1818 El Camino Real in Redwood City, California.

In partnership with San Mateo County, the former Comfort Inn motel has been remodeled to become permanent supportive housing for homeless and formerly homeless individuals in the area. Alta Housing and Mental Health Associates will provide case management, resident engagement, health and wellness programs, and job counseling to ensure the residents lead vibrant lives in their new homes.

In its 52 years, non-profit Alta Housing builds, develops, acquires and manages low- and moderate-income housing in the San Francisco Bay Area. With over 2600 residents and more than 500 units in various stages of development or construction, Alta Housing provides high-quality, award-winning housing with subsidized rents and supports its residents in reaching their goals through its Resident Services program. Alta Housing continues to expand its portfolio and focuses its future housing efforts along transit corridors on the Peninsula.

Images courtesy of Alta Housing.

See Alta Housing website.

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