From the Executive Director
It was great to see so many of you at our anniversary event last month on the roof at Oxford Plaza. Thank you to everyone who came and to our sponsors and donors for a wonderful show of support!
As we begin a new fiscal year, I’m proud to say that we came through a very difficult economic year with a string of solid accomplishments:
Completing construction of three new affordable developments -- Shinsei Gardens in Alameda, The Arbors in Richmond, and Los Medanos Village in Pittsburg;
Setting new standards for green building, including initiating planning and construction of several green retrofits of our older properties;
Sustaining and expanding vital services to our residents, especially for our most vulnerable special needs residents, and forming new partnerships to provide additional services throughout RCD’s housing;
Significantly improving the financial and property management performance of our portfolio including improving our housing retention rate to 96.4% across all of our housing.
You will see below the recognition we have received recently for our efforts and since it’s what we love to do and it’s our mission, we are highly motivated to do more. We have some great projects on the boards – in locations where the need is great, with units that serve our most vulnerable residents, with amenities and green building features that will make them wonderful places to live, and, of course, deeply affordable at 20-60% of area median income. Read about specific projects in the pipeline on our website.
We know, however that our work will only be more difficult in the near future. The economic downturn has created a crisis in public finance, which has made it far more difficult to build affordable housing. In this climate, we will need to do even more with scarcer funding. We are working to be more efficient, and to be even better stewards of our housing and resources. It does feel like a different time, and a greater challenge, but we are ready for it and excited to continue our work at a time when there is greater need than ever.
We would be very grateful if you make a donation to help us continue our efforts to develop housing and provide beneficial resident services programming. In return we’ll give you our special RCD nonprofit “tax credit” that will give you some tax relief next year when you file your tax return. It’s clear that now, more than ever, support from our community is essential.
Thanks for supporting RCD and we hope to see you soon at our new office in downtown Berkeley.
Dan Sawislak, RCD Executive Director
As of July 31, 2010
our address will be:
2220 Oxford Street,
Berkeley, CA 94704
Phone: (510) 841-4410
Fax: (510) 548-3502
Existing phone extensions will be preceded by a 3, e.g. extension 10 will be 310.
We’re excited to move into one of our own properties and to substantially upgrade and improve our facilities and operations! Thanks to the people at Mark Horton Architecture and Branagh, Inc. for working with us to create a fabulous new office in the Oxford Plaza commercial space.
We are pleased to announce the promotion of Janice King to Director of Resident Services, taking over from Kathy Treggiari, who has accepted a position with Episcopal Community Services. Janice has been with our Resident Services group for three years, serving most recently as Resident Services Manager and responsible for building services programming at Fox Courts and The Arbors. Ebony Smith has also been promoted to Associate Director of Resident Services and will manage our resident services grants as well senior services at Margaret Breland Homes and Mable Howard Apartments in Berkeley.
Family is the common thread among the winners of the Irwin Mussen Scholarship this year. Our winners acknowledge the strength of their ties to their parents and to their own children, their desire to excel in school to give their families a better future, their desire to work to help other families. With the love and support of their families, these dedicated students are making every effort to train for a better future.
Thanks to everyone who made the scholarship fund the focus of their giving – these students are so thankful for your support! And now, please meet the four residents we selected to receive Irwin Mussen Scholarships of $500 to support their continuing education.
• Imrana Faqi is completing prerequisite courses at College of Alameda before entering a four year nursing degree program.
• Jacky Chan is studying computer engineering at UC San Diego and is also volunteering with an organization that works with disadvantaged residents in the community.
• Suroj Sharma Dahal was as a healthcare provider and manager in Nepal and is pursuing a healthcare related degree here at Berkeley City College.
• Gina Taylor is working towards an Associate of Science degree in Diagnostic Imaging at Lincoln University in Oakland.
“Your support fosters the next generation of people
who themselves strive to help prepare strong
civic-minded people who see the benefit of aiding
those who might be overlooked.” – Jacky Chan
Jacky Chan, Suroj Sharma Dahal, Gina Taylor, and Imrana Faqi
“…through hard work and perseverance I can get through hard times, whatever the circumstances…I would like to build a good future for myself and to make my mark in our society by helping others.” – Imrana Faqi
Both Fox Courts and Stanley Avenue Apartments are community sites for the 2010 City of Oakland Summer Food Service Program. The program ensures that children have access to nutritious lunches during the summer months when they aren’t in school. Five days a week children under 18 from the property and surrounding neighborhood can come for lunch from 12 to 1:00. At Fox Courts, we average 25 kids each day, many of whom stay for the the summer youth program after lunch, giving them a place to be with friends and participate in supervised activities.
Shinsei Gardens (photo: Treve Johnson Photography)
Shinsei Gardens has received the highest level LEED Platinum certification from the US Green Building Council and a GreenPoint Rating score of 169 from Build It Green. That’s the highest GreenPoint residential multi-family building score in California as of the time it was awarded in June! RCD’s Senior Project Manager Carolyn Bookhart credits the two certification programs with challenging the whole project team to find the most sustainable solutions to design and construction issues and helping to set new green standards for RCD’s development work.
The American Institute of Architects East Bay Chapter recently awarded Mikiten Architecture a Bay Area Regional Design Merit Award for Exceptional Residential Design 2010 for Shinsei Gardens.
In the same design awards contest, WRT/Solomon ETC received a Citation Award for Oxford Plaza. RCD was also honored for the 34 units of supportive housing at Oxford Plaza by EveryOne Home, a collaboration to end homelessness in Alameda County.
Fox Courts is a finalist in Affordable Housing Finance magazine’s Reader’s Choice Award in the Urban category. Read about it here and if you are a subscriber, please vote for Oakland and Fox Courts! We also appreciate the Merit Award for Fox Courts in the GreenPoint Rated Community of the Year category at PCBC’s Gold Nugget Awards in June.
All three of these recently completed properties (and Dan, Lisa, Deni, and Carolyn) are featured in a video produced for the Acterra Business Environmental Awards program in June when RCD won the Sustainable Built Environment Award.
Several new grants will help sustain our work this year. The Wells Fargo Foundation has awarded our first grant of FY11 to support our affordable housing program. The Evelyn & Walter Haas Jr. Fund has funded pre-development work in the Lower San Antonio District of Oakland. The San Francisco Foundation has awarded core operating support for our affordable housing development and resident services program. We are also pleased to have major support for our resident services from the Union Bank Foundation and Kohl’s. And, the City of Berkeley recently awarded us CDBG grants for resident services at Oxford Plaza and to administer our green rehabilitation project at UA Homes. These and other grants that fund parts of our core operations help ensure that we will meet the challenges of the coming year.
We also depend on you to make the choice to support RCD and over 3,000 residents at our 44 properties. Find out who's supporting us and watch our progress toward our annual goal on the RCD website homepage. Thank you!
Thank you to our 2010 funders and the sponsors of Sparking Connections Up on the Roof!
Chase Community Development Banking
Enterprise Community Partners
Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund
Dean & Margaret Lesher Foundation
San Francisco Foundation
Cahill Contractors • J.H. Fitzmaurice • Union Bank
California Bank & Trust • Contra Costa County • D & H Construction • Heffernan Foundation • Lindquist, von Husen & Joyce LLP •
James E. Roberts-Obayashi Corp. • Segue Construction •
Sun Light & Power • Wells Fargo
Branagh, Inc. • Community Economics • East Bay Community Foundation • Kava Massih Architects• Anne Phillips Architecture • Okamoto Saijo Architecture • Oliver & Company • The John Stewart Company
Applied Materials and Engineering • Bay Area LISC •
BBI Construction • Gubb & Barshay • Silicon Valley Bank •
Total DVR • WRT/Solomon ETC
Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson, District 5 • Alternative Technologies • Farella Braun + Martel • Gilbert Chan Consultants • Hotten Investment Real Estate • Luk and Associates • Northern California Community Loan Fund • Perkins + Will