“The Hope Center is aptly named, as the housing and services that this landmark project creates will spur opportunity and prosperity–it’s my proudest accomplishment as Mayor of Berkeley,” said Mayor Jesse Arreguín. “This moment marks the culmination of a decade of work and dedication from countless people. We have transformed a parking lot into a portrait of progress.”
Located in the heart of downtown Berkeley, the community includes two side-by-side developments: BRIDGE’s Berkeley Way Apartments with 89 affordable homes and services for low- and very low- income families; and BFHP’s Hope Center, with 53 permanent supportive housing apartments, a 32-bed homeless shelter, 12 transitional beds for homeless veterans, a community kitchen and wrap-around services for mental health, substance abuse, job training and social activities.
“This is truly a historic moment as we bring online the single largest infusion of affordable and permanent supportive housing in Berkley’s history,” said Calleene Egan, CEO of Berkeley Food & Housing Project. “We hope this is the first of many developments of this kind throughout the Bay Area, offering truly permanent homes with wraparound support to ensure each and every one of our neighbors can access and sustain a safe, comfortable, permanent home.”
“We’re proud to be part of this collaborative effort to deliver a broad range of housing and service solutions to Berkeley,” said Ken Lombard, President and CEO of BRIDGE Housing. “In keeping with our mission, the Hope Center and Berkeley Way go beyond housing to provide opportunities that lift up people and the community. We’re grateful to Berkeley Food & Housing Project and all of the partners who helped bring this development to life.”
The vision for the Hope Center began in 2009, when BFHP and the City approved a framework for relocating the BFHP Men’s Shelter to a new, seismically safe multi-service center focused on housing first. Following that, in 2013, the City Council initiated a Request for Proposals to replace the city’s surface level parking lot at 2012 Berkeley Way with affordable and permanent supportive housing as well as supportive services; Berkeley Food & Housing Project and BRIDGE Housing were selected to build the joint development. In 2018, Berkeley voters approved Measure O, a $135-million bond for affordable housing. Funding from this bond measure provided critical dollars to help finance the development. Groundbreaking took place in 2020, and the first residents began moving in at the end of September 2022.
Financial partners for both developments include the City of Berkeley, Berkeley Housing Authority, Alameda County, California Department of Housing and Community Development, National Equity Fund, Merritt Community Capital, Silicon Valley Bank, California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, California Debt Limit Allocation Committee, the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, and donations from members of the Berkeley community. Additional funding for the Hope Center is being provided by Citi Community Development/LISC-NEF’s Bring Them Homes initiative. Additional financial partners for Berkeley Way Apartments include PGIM, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco.
The architect is Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects, and the general contractor is Nibbi Brothers General Contractors.
For information about Berkeley Food & Housing Project, visit www.bfhp.org. And to learn about BRIDGE Housing, visit www.bridgehousing.com.
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Download ribbon-cutting photo: https://bridgehousing.com/bw-ribbon/From left: Vice Mayor Kate Harrison; Anne McColluch, Chief Legal Officer and EVP, Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco; Melinda Grant, Undersecretary, California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency; Christian Daly, External Affairs Officer, California State Treasurer’s Office; Senator Nancy Skinner, CA-9; Eduardo Cabrera, Field Office Director-Northern California, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Ken Lombard, President & CEO, BRIDGE Housing; Mayor Jesse Arreguín; Calleene Egan, Chief Executive Officer, Berkeley Food & Housing Project; Kenji Tamaoki, Executive Director – Agency Originations, PGIM Real Estate; Matt Reilein, CEO, National Equity Fund; Paul Carney, CFO, Merritt Community Capital.
ABOUT BERKELEY FOOD & HOUSING PROJECT
Since 1970 Berkeley Food & Housing Project (BFHP) has provided a comprehensive range of housing, food, and support services to help those in need move from homelessness into a safe and affordable home of their own. For more information, visit www.bfhp.org.
ABOUT BRIDGE HOUSING
BRIDGE Housing Corporation, a leading nonprofit developer and owner of affordable housing, creates and manages a range of high-quality, affordable homes for working families and seniors. Since it was founded in 1983, BRIDGE has participated in the development of more than 18,000 homes.