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The East Bay city of Newark has been awarded more than $38 million dollars in funding from the state’s Project Homekey program, to support the conversion of an existing extended-stay hotel at into 124 affordable housing units.

To be known as Cedar Community Apartments, on Cedar Boulevard, the extended-stay hotel already contains studios, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom units — all with kitchens — which means converting these units to affordable homes would result in minimal changes to the interior and exterior of the building.

“New affordable housing built from the ground up can take years to plan, entitle, and construct,” said Steven Turner, the city’s community development director. “The Homekey grant accelerates the process, resulting in affordable units that would be available in months, not years.”

The grant application was a collaborative effort led by Newark and Allied Housing Inc., a local housing developer that specializes in affordable housing developments to people experiencing homelessness.

Abode Services, the Bay Area’s largest provider of housing and social services to people experiencing homelessness and an affiliate of Allied Housing, will provide on-site social services to residents at Cedar Community Apartments to support them in their life goals while maintaining stability in their homes. Housing for Independent People, an affiliate of Allied Housing and Abode Services, would be the on-site property manager.

Residents of Cedar Community Apartments will come from referrals through Alameda County’s Coordinated Entry System or through the Veteran’s Administration, including referrals through a system that would be set up by Newark. Household income eligibility would not exceed 30 percent of the area median income with all residents required to sign a lease, be subject to apartment community rules, and required to pay rent.

“New affordable housing built from the ground up can take years to plan, entitle, and construct. The Homekey grant accelerates the process, resulting in affordable units that would be available in months, not years.”

Steven Turner, Newark community development director

“Everyone deserves a home, and this is an efficient and creative way to add affordable housing in an area that certainly needs more of it,” said Louis Chicoine, Abode Services chief executive officer. “Cedar Community Apartments will make the Newark community stronger while providing much needed homes to vulnerable households in the city.”

In addition to the Homekey grant, the Cedar Community Apartment project was also conditionally awarded $4 million in Alameda County HOME Consortium American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds and 60 Project Based Vouchers from the Housing Authority of the County of Alameda, a portion of which would be designated for veterans who are experiencing or are at-risk of homelessness. Newark has also assigned $6 million in affordable housing development impact fee funds and allocated ARPA funds to the project.

“The incredible financial investments by the City of Newark and our state and regional partners demonstrates the need for creative and speedy affordable housing solutions that respond to the challenges within our community, said Newark Mayor Alan Nagy. “I am grateful for these partnerships and the opportunity to welcome the residents of Cedar Community Apartments to the Newark community.”

City staff members will begin preparing various affordable housing funding agreements that will need to be signed with project partners. City staff expects the City Council to review and consider approving the agreements at a public meeting in September.

More information on the Cedar Community Apartment project can be found online, or contact Steven Turner with questions. He can be reached by calling at 510-578-4208.