Local officials gathered in downtown Redwood City Friday morning to celebrate the groundbreaking of an affordable housing development that will soon be home to 20 “missing middle” families.

Located at 612 Jefferson Ave., the six-story development by nonprofit Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco is comprised of five one-bedroom units, 10 two-bedroom units and five three-bedroom units on what is now a vacant 5,000-square-foot lot. All units will be for sale and reserved for “low income” residents earning 60% to 80% of area median income, which comes out to between $61,620 and $82,200 a year for individuals and between $87,960 and $117,400 for families of four. 

“When finished, this development will be home to 20 families in the so-called missing middle, the families that are under immense pressure as a result of the housing crunch that is facing the state,” said Mayor Ian Bain who is also a former Habitat board member. “No city has more Habitat homes than Redwood City does so it couldn’t be more fitting that Habitat’s next project is right here in the heart of our city. … It’s going to be exciting to see these homes get built.” 

Construction is expected to take between 18 and 22 months, somewhat longer than it might take other developers because Habitat relies on volunteers to help construct its projects. Within about six months, the nonprofit will start advertising the project and accepting applications. Applicants qualify for the development based on income and not other criteria such as being a Redwood City resident.

Habitat will then provide homebuyers with zero interest, zero down mortgages so that an applicant is not paying more than 30% of their income toward housing, said Peter Dunne, vice president of real estate development for Habitat.

Maureen Sedonaen, chief executive officer for Habitat, said it wasn’t an easy journey for the transit-oriented infill project.

After the Planning Commission approved the project in 2017, it was appealed by two attorneys whose offices are on the same block. They felt the proposal was incompatible with the area for a variety of reasons, but opposed it primarily because of its six-story height. The City Council rejected the appeal and a lawsuit soon followed.

The attorneys hoped the building would be shortened a story or two, but did not get their wish and ultimately reached a settlement with Habitat in 2018. 

Manuel Garcia, a Habitat homeowner in Redwood City resident, spoke during the groundbreaking ceremony.   

“I’m excited by the hard work of Habitat, which will allow more working families to be able to make their home here,” he said.

People can visit habitatgsf.org/homeownership-application in roughly six months to apply to live in the development. 

(650) 344-5200 ext. 102

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