Los Angeles/ Real Estate & Development
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Published on June 11, 2024
Riverside Welcomes Mulberry Gardens Senior Apartments, a Pioneering Affordable Housing Development on Excess State LandSource: California Department of Housing and Community Development

Riverside, CA has seen the commencement of a compelling shift in its approach to affordable housing with the groundbreaking of Mulberry Gardens Senior Apartments. As part of Governor Gavin Newsom's 2019 initiative to tackle the housing crisis, this development represents the first in Southern California to emerge on excess state land. According to the California Department of Housing and Community Development, this significant event converged key figures, including HCD Director Gustavo Velasquez and City of Riverside Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson.

Embracing the site of the former California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection headquarters, the development is slated to provide 58 affordable homes targeted at low-income seniors. Individuals earning between 30-50% of the Area Median Income are set to benefit, as Director Velasquez proudly noted, "We are proud to support the Mulberry Gardens Senior Apartments project, an example of how strategic use of state excess land can create sustainable, affordable housing solutions." This project is more than just about building homes, it's about fostering inclusive communities of opportunity.

Fiscal support for this endeavor has been robust, with nearly $9 million from HCD's Infill Infrastructure Grant and Excess Site Local Government Matching Grants Programs fueling the project, as per the California Department of Housing and Community Development. Moreover, these senior apartments are just the beginning. A broader housing complex is on the horizon, promising an additional 150 affordable homes for low-income families as part of Phase 2, also receiving significant financial support from both state grants and the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities program.

Beyond the sheer provision of shelter, the Mulberry Gardens projects are designed with community vitality at their core. The developments will feature a range of amenities from a community room to laundry facilities, and the design prioritizes both indoor and outdoor engagement spaces, such as a bocce ball court, and, pedestrian walking routes. Recreation and practicality merge as the project aligns with the City of Riverside Active Transportation Plan, introducing new sidewalks, bike lanes, and bus shelters to enhance resident mobility.