Downtown Livermore Apartments – Fact Sheet

Property Description

What is Eden Housing’s Downtown Livermore project?

Eden Housing’s proposed project will provide 130 new affordable housing units for low-income families. These new additions will include one- to three-bedroom apartment homes located at the southeast corner of the Railroad Avenue and L Street intersection. The community will include two buildings, each four stories tall. The buildings will feature a resident meeting space, onsite laundry facilities, management offices, units for onsite management and maintenance personnel, and a private playground for residents in addition to the public park’s playground.

Who will live in these homes?

The proposed community will be open to residents of Livermore who earn between 20 to 60% of Alameda County’s area median income. This translates to approximate salaries of $27,400 (~$13.00/hour) to $82,200 for a family of four. Estimated rents would range from approximately $700/month to $2,100/month. Income limits and rents adjust for family size.

Will any amenities be open to the public?

The community will include a large public park with art programming and a playground, all open for the community to enjoy.

Is there a significant need for housing in Livermore?

There is an urgent need for more housing. The wait lists for low-income and affordable housing vastly outnumbers available units. Local workers struggle to live in Livermore due to the shortage of housing, and often commute in from cities outside of the region to work here. The Fair Market Rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $2,640. To afford this level of rent and utilities, without paying more than 30% of income on housing, a household must earn $8,800 monthly or $105,600 annually. Assuming a 40-hour work week, this translates to an hourly wage of $50.77, or 145 hours per week at minimum wage.

Currently, more than 100 children who attend Livermore schools are experiencing homelessness. When low-income families are able to live in neighborhoods that foster mobility, children perform better, are more likely to attend college, experience improved physical and mental health, and see an increase in their average annual earnings as adults by 31%. Investing in affordable housing is an investment in Livermore’s next generation of residents.

Considering the need for affordable housing in Livermore, how will you prioritize the demand?

The proposed community is intended to provide much-needed affordable housing to the Livermore workforce. Leasing will be based on Priority Point Scoring for local healthcare workers, public safety personnel, school staff, hospitality employees, and employees of the downtown small businesses and restaurants, as well as households already living in Livermore.

Why was downtown selected as the site for this project?

In 2009, the City of Livermore acquired the downtown site for this project to be used as affordable housing. The City Council chose Eden Housing as developer in 2018, and unanimously approved its development plan in 2021 with significant support from the community. Since 2017 the City Council has solicited community engagement by appointing a 19-person Steering Committee and holding numerous community meetings.

Downtown is the right location for this project. Aside from being designated for affordable housing, it offers open space and is close to many amenities and public transportation. Surrounding parcels in the city are not available nor affordable. No viable alternate location exists due to prohibitive land costs, restrictive zoning, and the significant delays to restart city approvals.

How will these new homes impact parking and traffic?

Resident parking will be located in an underground parking structure and nearby parking garage. A traffic study was conducted by a neutral third party that analyzed the impact on parking and traffic. This study found that the proposed parking structures will adequately meet the parking needs of the development, and that the additional homes will not have a detrimental effect on the existing traffic infrastructure’s ability to provide efficient movement.


Project Timeline

2007 – 2009

The City of Livermore acquired the downtown site for use as affordable housing and adopted zoning that enabled the development.

2017

A public engagement effort is undertaken to collect information from the community on what should be built downtown.

April 2017

City Council appoints a 19-member Downtown Steering Committee to launch a public engagement process; Placeworks is retained to perform public outreach.

September – November 2017

Placeworks leads an extensive outreach process that includes five neighborhood district meetings, two community workshops, two downtown walking tours, 11 pop-up events, and presentations to eight community organization meetings and seven classes at local schools.

November 2017

The Downtown Public Engagement report is published.

2018

City Council approves the Downtown Plan and directs staff to implement it. Eden Housing is selected to develop plans for affordable housing on the site.

July 2020

The County of Alameda committed $14,400,000 in Measure A1 funds. The funds were awarded through a competitive application process that commenced in October 2019.

April 2021

The Livermore Planning Commission approved Eden’s 130-unit affordable housing development, sending the project to the City Council for review.

May 2021

The Livermore City Council voted unanimously to approve Eden’s proposed development following a public meeting that spanned two days. All five council members expressed enthusiastic support for the proposal. The project received significant support from the community and community business leaders, with resident comments in favor 2:1. The council found that the project complies with the state density bonus law, the California Environmental Quality Act, the Housing Accountability Act, and aligns with the city’s overall vision for the downtown development plan.

June 2021

Save Livermore Downtown (SLD), an unincorporated association claiming to be comprised of local residents, filed a meritless lawsuit claiming the City’s approval of Eden’s project violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and California Planning and Zoning Law. Luckily, there are laws in place that help organizations defend challenges to affordable housing projects that are brought for the purpose of delay.

September 2021

Eden asked the court to impose a bond against SLD pursuant to said law, California Civil Code Section 529.2, which authorizes such a bond when challenges to affordable housing projects are brought for the purpose of delay. The Court agreed that SLD appeared to have brought the suit to delay affordable housing and ordered SLD to post a $500,000 bond for damages caused by its lawsuit.

February 2022

SLD’s CEQA and Planning and Zoning Law claims were presented to the Alameda County Superior Court. The court, as an impartial observer, concurred with the City and Eden’s assessment that SLD’s challenges are meritless. The court denied SLD’s claims and ordered that judgment be entered in favor of the Downtown Livermore project. At the conclusion of the hearing, the court observed that SLD’s claims are “almost utterly without merit” and that rejecting the claims they had presented was “not a close call.”

April 2022

SLD appealed the Alameda County Superior Court’s decision to deny their challenge to the City of Livermore’s approval of the project.

September 2022

As part of the agreement approved unanimously by the City Council in May, the City of Livermore closed escrow with Eden Housing on the parcel bounded by L Street, Railroad Avenue, the extension of K Street and Veterans Way to be utilized for the downtown affordable housing project.


Endorsements and Support

Thank you to East Bay Housing Organizations (EBHO), East Bay for Everyone, Greenbelt Alliance, and Bay Area Council for your support and endorsement of the proposed community.

Statements of Support

Support Eden Housing, Christine Fiori

I am a current resident with a child living in Eden Affordable Housing in Livermore. I believe at this time of need of affordable housing, Livermore (should) give those in need a chance in another community of Eden Housing within Livermore to be able to get a chance to have an affordable, safe place to live.

The staff is always kind to us. Eden Housing even gets residents a reason to (succeed) throughout Livermore (from) the school kids with resources to possible job resources. When the pandemic came, we had someone that worked with Eden who checked on us and our wellbeing and kept giving us great ideas to keep entertained as well. If it wasn’t for affordable housing by Eden Housing keeping us safe and sound, I’m not sure where else we would be. Please give Eden a chance.

I’m an essential worker. I’m sure that there are essential workers out there that need affordable housing that can give them a peace of mind of housing. Please approve Eden Housing to build another wonderful community. Thank you.


Affordable Housing, Andrew Barker

In our expensive city, the current guidelines for very low-income housing include families making $50,000 to $70,000 a year. The Eden Housing proposal for downtown is focused on such people. Let me assure you that someone making $50,000 a year is in our workforce.

In contrast, Save Downtown Livermore argues that only the rich should be allowed in our city. Their housing proposal uses a national standard for ‘workforce housing’ that is inappropriate for the extremely high costs we have locally, and the housing in their proposal would be unaffordable except to those making around $100,000 a year.

Our community character is not just about how things look on the outside. In Livermore, our character is to be welcoming to everyone, even those who are not wealthy, and to help those in need. I urge Livermore residents to preserve our character by supporting truly affordable housing.

About Eden Housing

Eden Housing is a non-profit with more than 50 years of experience in tackling affordable housing from all angles. We believe that home is where your start is. Every day, we create the housing needed to make sure all of our neighbors have a place to call home and advocate for still more, because safe and affordable housing helps families stay secure, allows communities to thrive, and solves many of our cities’ most pressing challenges.