Greenbelt Alliance

Greenbelt Alliance

Press Release: East Palo Alto Approves Greenbelt Alliance Endorsed Senior Apartments

Michele Beasley
Regional Director, Greenbelt Alliance

Robert Jones
Executive Director, EPA CAN DO

February 18, 2015

The cost of living for seniors in San Mateo County is the highest in the state of California according to the San Mateo County Health System. While East Palo Alto has traditionally been a leader in providing homes affordable to all, the community is not immune from skyrocketing housing costs. University Avenue Senior Apartments in East Palo Alto is addressing these challenges by providing new affordable homes where senior residents can continue to enjoy the community they love and have lived in for years.

University Avenue Senior Apartments, a development by MidPen Housing Corporation and the East Palo Alto Community Alliance Neighborhood Development Organization (EPA CAN DO), was approved for development by the East Palo Alto City Council on February 17, 2015.

“University Ave. Senior Apartments is long overdue—it will be the second fully-populated senior project in East Palo Alto in 40 years and represents just 2% of the housing need for seniors in the community,” said Robert Jones, Executive Director of EPA CAN DO.

The new development will create 41 affordable senior apartments within one-half mile of a library, pharmacy, park, senior center, bus stop, post office, and market.

“When the opportunity to work with EPA CAN DO came up, we jumped at it,” said Matthew O. Franklin, President of MidPen Housing. “Our collaboration on University Avenue builds on a positive precedent that began years ago when we co-developed Bay Oaks which provides affordable housing for families. We’re excited to bring our complimentary skills and experience together once again on this new development which will enable seniors to stay in the community where they’ve raised their families.”

University Avenue Senior Apartments is also the first project in East Palo Alto to be endorsed by Greenbelt Alliance, a Bay Area non-profit that defends natural and agricultural landscapes while helping create great cities and neighborhoods throughout the region. Since the 1980s, Greenbelt Alliance has helped over 175 projects and plans like University Avenue Senior Apartments come to fruition by offering independent endorsement to developments that enhance the quality of Bay Area communities. Applicants are required to meet seven strict criteria for endorsement, including efficient use of land, affordability, and community engagement.

“These new homes set the stage for a thriving community in East Palo Alto,” said Michele Beasley, Regional Director of Greenbelt Alliance. “Greenbelt Alliance is proud to have endorsed University Avenue Senior Apartments as a great example of infill development and we hope more communities step up and say yes to homes for all ages and all incomes in their neighborhoods that are close to public transportation, shops, and services.”



Greenbelt Alliance is the champion of the places that make the Bay Area special. The non-profit organization defends natural and agricultural landscapes while helping create great cities and neighborhoods. To date, Greenbelt Alliance has endorsed over 175 housing plans and projects totaling over 70,000 new homes in more than 100 neighborhoods around the region.

East Palo Alto Community Alliance Neighborhood Development Organization (EPA CAN DO) is a non-profit dedicated to creating and maintaining affordable housing and to promote community and economic development.

MidPen Housing Corporation’s mission is to provide safe, affordable housing of high quality to those in need; to establish stability and opportunity in the lives of residents; and to foster diverse communities that allow people from all ethnic, social, and economic backgrounds to live in dignity, harmony and mutual respect. Since 1970, MidPen has developed and professionally managed over 7,450 homes for low-income families, seniors and those with special needs. With offices in Foster City and Watsonville, MidPen works in 11 Northern California counties.

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