SAN JOSE (KCBS)— There’s been a lot of talk about the need for more affordable housing in San Jose. With that in mind, ground has now been broken on a $30.8 million, 102-unit housing project near City Hall where 20 percent of its units will be set aside for the homeless and low income, putting them right alongside some of Silicon Valley’s highest paid workers.

The complex at 156 E. St. John Street is the former location of the Donner-Houghten Estate and is called Donner Lofts, in honor of Eliza Donner, a surviving member of the Donner Party who formerly owned the site. The estate, a historic city landmark was destroyed by a fire in 2007.

The mixed-use lofts could be open as early as summer 2016. According to MidPen Housing, the residencies is to provide affordable housing for people working in the downtown San Jose area and who earn up to $37,700 a year or 50 percent of the Area Median Income.

“This development is coming at the perfect time,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo at the groundbreaking. “We’ve never had a greater need for housing for homeless and for those who are on very limited incomes. We’re transforming what is a blighted parcel into what’s going to be a beautiful mixed-use development.”

Click to access MP–DL–D4–Target%20Population–draft.pdf

In addition to housing for working individuals and formerly homeless residents, MidPen’s statement says plans include computer and exercise facilities, community gathering space, and 2,500 square feet of street-level retail. Also planned for community residents are onsite services, coordinated by MidPen Resident Services Corp., for health, vocational assistance and financial literacy.

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