Nonprofit homebuilder plans to build 400-plus affordable North Bay units

A Bay Area nonprofit real estate developer recently revealed plans to build 3,000 homes in Northern California over the next five years, many of which will be for those with low incomes and the homeless. A few hundred of those dwellings are in the works for North Bay counties.

As a part of its new 2021–2025 strategic plan, MidPen Housing plans to build environmentally sustainable housing with 40% of the units dedicated to at-risk and extremely low-income individuals and families.

The Foster City-based developer of subsidized housing said it has a “robust pipeline“ of North Bay projects:

  • Casa Roseland in Santa Rosa: 75 units
  • Mahonia Glen in Santa Rosa: 99 units
  • 414 Petaluma in Petaluma: 41 units
  • Napa Pipe in south Napa: 120 units
  • Fair Haven Commons in Fairfield: 72 units

“We have an ambitious goal for very-low-income housing,” said Jan Lindenthal, chief real estate development officer, told the Business Journal.

The projects have significant set-asides for renters who meet affordability requirements, such as nearly one-third of the Casa Roseland units for extremely low-income households and half of Fair Haven Commons as transitional housing for the homeless, Lindenthal said.

The three Sonoma County projects have entitlements. MidPen is partnering with Napa Valley Community Housing to build the Napa Pipe units, which are set to follow forthcoming infrastructure work for the Costco Wholesale store–led first phase of the redevelopment. Another 88 units are in the works at several other Solano County projects, according to Lindenthal.

California and federal agencies define “extremely low income” as a household’s making 30% of an area’s median family income. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s latest figures for median family income are $102,700 in Sonoma County, $95,400 in Solano County, $143,100 in Marin County and the San Francisco metropolitan area, $109,200 in Napa County, $70,700 In Mendocino County, and $65,800 in Lake County.

MidPen’s plans come as local governments and other nonprofit developers have been ramping up their funding and project pipelines to meet state housing-creation goals and long-standing needs.

For example, Santa Rosa has nearly $700 million in affordable-housing projects in the works, with a few under construction, amounting to over 1,200 new dwellings in coming years, according to The Press Democrat. The Sonoma County city’s target from the state is nearly 4,700 new homes, with 1,900 of those affordable, in the next 10 years.

The North Bay’s other sizable city of about the same population, Vallejo, has been allocated 2,900 more homes to be built in the decade, but large projects have been slowed by litigation and studies, the Business Journal has reported.

MidPen Housing was founded in 1970 and has developed and managed over 8,000 homes for low-income families, seniors and those with special needs. Currently working in 11 Northern California counties, the company also has offices in Oakland, Watsonville and Santa Rosa.

One recently completed MidPen project in the North Bay is Celestina Garden Apartments, a senior residential facility in the city of Sonoma. Midstate Construction was the general contractor, and it was designed by MBH Architects and Jon Worden Architects.

That project was a three-story building on 3.06 acres of the Sonoma Springs mixed-use site. It’s the final phase of a master-planned, intergenerational community. Units include 37 one-bedroom and three two-bedroom apartments for low-income individuals over age 62, earning up to 60% of area median income, or $47,160 for a two-person household.

Jeff Quackenbush covers wine, construction and real estate. Before the Business Journal, he wrote for Bay City News Service in San Francisco. He has a degree from Walla Walla University. Reach him at or 707-521-4256.

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