Watch the video of the SAHA presentation including the questions that were raised.
On Sunday, October 22, Satellite Affordable Housing Associates (SAHA) presented some ideas for what an affordable housing project might look like on the First Church campus. Strong support was expressed by the congregation for exploring this option at the June 10 Blue Sky meeting and we are in a process of discernment to see how we are called to address this important need in Berkeley.
SAHA is one of the most respected affordable housing developers in the region, providing housing to over 4,000 low-income seniors, families, and people with special needs. It was SAHA that recently took over Amistad House, the very successful senior housing project First Church built decades ago on Shattuck Avenue.
SAHA presented credible examples of what affordable housing could look like on the north end of our parcel, including the number of units, income requirements, funding, and support, taking into account code restrictions, current campus usage and needs (including parking), and revenue opportunities.
The presentation generated thoughtful questions and robust discussion that help inform our next steps in the discernment process. Over the next couple months we will be holding a series of conversations on individual topics related to exploring affordable housing on campus, including but not limited to:
• Open Space/Durant House
• Best Practices for Responding to the Bay Area Housing Crisis (e.g. is putting housing on campus the most efficient or effective thing we can do as people of faith to relieve suffering?)
In the meantime, please talk with any of the committee members (Scott Sporte, Dan Leaverton, Emma S, Brian Hauck) to share questions or thoughts. This is an important topic and we need to hear from you!