La Valentina Transit Oriented, Affordable Housing
This is a good example of:Supporting affordable housing near transit
La Valentina is an affordable, mixed use housing development across the street from a light rail station in Sacramento, CA. Energy and water efficiency are engineered into the building and site design, further boosting the affordability for residents.
: In 2007, a public-private partnership between the city of Sacramento and Domus Development brought together community groups to address neighborhood concerns and create a new vision for the area. From that vision came an affordable, mixed-use building complex—La Valentina and La Valentina North located next to the La Valentina/Alkali light-rail stop. The green energy and water efficient features are considered a critical part of housing affordability.
When redevelopment planning began in the Alkali Flat Neighborhood, residents were initially skeptical. However, the community was brought in early in the process, and they drove the design for a mixture of housing, commercial, and retail space.
Early barriers included contamination and the city’s outdated zoning code. The old code did not allow transit oriented development, instead mandating inefficient site design and large parking requirements despite access to transit and proximity to schools, parks, markets and jobs. The developer worked with the city to obtain dozens of permits and variances to legalize the project.
Features: The housing plan has two parts: a four-story mixed-use building with 63 apartments in various configurations (9 studios, 24 one-bedrooms, and 30 two-bedrooms) over six commercial spaces; and, on an adjacent infill lot, a set of 18 three-story townhouses. Energy efficiency, and environmental health were priorities for community residents, which were integrated into design:
- Cleanup of brownfield contamination;
- Energy-efficient heating and cooling systems and appliances;
- Open-air breezeways and staircases, to cut down on energy consumption in the buildings;
- Permeable paving and native, drought-tolerant vegetation reduced stormwater runoff.
- Rooftop solar panels;
- On-site after-school care and adult continuing education classes
- Cost – $162 per square foot
- Project area – 1.23-acre
- One-third of La Valentina’s 170 residents walk, bike, or take transit for their daily commute—more than three times the national average.
- Rents – $347 to $1,100 a month, depending on income and the size of the unit