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‘Green’ Housing Complex for Farmworkers Opens in Soledad

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contacts:
Gary Gerber, Sun Light & Power (800.233.4SUN, gary@sunlightandpower.com)
Nathan Ho, Eden Housing (510-247-8193, nho@edenhousing.org)

‘Green’ Housing Complex for Farmworkers Opens in Soledad
Carport’s solar electric system to offset all common area electricity usage, majority of tenant’s usage

BERKELEY, CA, 12 July 2016 — A previously run-down labor camp in Soledad, CA is now a vibrant, welcoming home for local farmworkers and their families. Camphora Apartments, surrounded by acres of prime agricultural land known as the “Salad Bowl of the World”, is now home to a new housing complex that meets the toughest industry standard for sustainable building design. In addition to the 242kWp solar electric system installed over the parking lot, other green design features include high-efficiency lighting, space heating and hot water systems, an efficient landscape irrigation system and Energy Star appliances in all the units.

Camphora was developed by Eden Housing and South County Housing in partnership with the County and the City of Soledad. It provides 44 two- and three-bedroom apartments to residents with annual incomes between 30% and 60% of the Monterey County Area Median Income, which is about $21,500 to $43,000 per year for a family of four.

According to Linda Mandolini, President of Eden Housing, the new development is the result of a successful collaboration with various stakeholders. “Camphora is truly a project for the community by the community,” she said. “We are pleased to partner with South County Housing and with the County of Monterey in providing beautiful new homes for farmworkers in the Salinas Valley.”

Mandolini added that Camphora is a testament to Eden Housing’s mission of delivering high-quality affordable housing communities to those who need them. “We pioneered the adoption of green technologies and features more than 40 years ago, and we will continue building all new properties with green features to reduce energy and water costs and improve the quality of life for our residents.”

According to Jesse Quay of Sun Light & Power, the solar company that installed the solar shade structures over the parking area, the PV system is expected to offset 100% of the community’s common area electricity usage as well as the majority of the tenant’s usage. “The PV system on the carport is comprised of 792 LG 305W solar panels. In addition to helping Eden Housing and their tenants save on their electricity bills, the solar system provides a sustainable future for our community and our planet,” he said.

Meets toughest industry standard for sustainable building design
The new apartment complex has received LEED-H Platinum certification, which is the highest LEED rating possible from the U.S. Green Building Council. It also exceeds California’s energy efficiency standards (Title 24 energy standards) by 38%. The Title 24 energy standards were created by the California Building Standards Commission in 1978 to reduce California’s energy consumption. It addresses the energy efficiency of new and altered homes and commercial buildings.

Quay explained that Title 24 standards are updated psuneriodically by the California Energy Commission to account for improvements in building materials and energy efficiency technologies.

Welcomes previous tenants
According to Eden Housing, 25 of the previous households were relocated temporarily and have returned to the new community. A small number of families whose household income was more than income thresholds received permanent relocation benefits. “Many of the farmworker families have lived at Camphora for decades and we are pleased so many of them has returned,” Mandolini said.

Amenities include barbeque and picnic areas, a community garden, a 3,000-sqft community center, and a computer room. There are also designated recreation areas such as two turf soccer fields, a half-court basketball court, and a playground for toddlers. Onsite management and supportive services will also be provided by Eden Housing.

Camphora Apartments was funded with financial support from the U.S. Bank, U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation, California Department of Housing and Community Development, U.S. Department of Labor, County of Monterey, Eden Housing, South County Housing, Federal Home Loan Bank, NeighborWorks America, Century Housing, Rural LISC, and Monterey County Housing Authority. KTGY Architecture + Planning was the architect and the general constructor was Midstate Construction.

“For the past 20 years, Monterey County has been working to find a way to rehabilitate the facility that was built in the 1960s. All stakeholders and community partners are very pleased to see the fruit of our efforts,” Mandolini said.

About Sun Light & Power
Founded in 1976, Sun Light & Power is celebrating its 40th continuous year of designing and building solar systems in California, both solar thermal and electric. Sun Light & Power’s team of engineers, project managers and installers serves a wide range of commercial, nonprofit, municipal and residential clients, with a strong emphasis on the multifamily and affordable housing sector.  Sun Light & Power, a Certified B Corp, is one of the first companies in the state to become a Certified Benefit Corporation as well as being the first solar company to be certified as an Alameda County Green Business. For more information, visit www.sunlightandpower.com.

About Eden Housing
In its 48 years of service in California, non-profit Eden Housing has provided a home for more than 65,000 people. Hayward-based Eden Housing is the long-term owner-operator of its developments, and is committed to preserving and maintaining its buildings as community assets and supporting residents with a range of services. Since its founding in 1968, Eden Housing has developed, acquired, and/or managed more than 10,400 affordable homes in more than 165 properties. Eden provides professional property management and supportive resident services to families and individuals living in its portfolio of more than 8,200 apartment homes in nearly 130 properties throughout California. For more information about Eden Housing, visit www.edenhousing.org.

The 242kWp PV system installed on the carport will offset 100% of the common area electricity usage as well as the majority of the tenant’s usage. (Photo credit: Sun Light & Power)

The 242kWp PV system installed on the carport will offset 100% of the common area electricity usage as well as the majority of the tenant’s usage. (Photo credit: Sun Light & Power)

Camphora Apartments was developed by Eden Housing and South County Housing in partnership with the County and the City of Soledad. (Photo credit: Eden Housing)

Camphora Apartments was developed by Eden Housing and South County Housing in partnership with the County and the City of Soledad. (Photo credit: Eden Housing)

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