SOURCE: Citizens Housing Corporation

September 19, 2007 08:00 ET

Citizens Housing Corporation Re-Opens Historic Oakland Landmark as Affordable Housing for Seniors

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - September 19, 2007) - Citizens Housing Corporation, an innovative non-profit housing developer, today officially re-opened the Altenheim Senior Apartments in Oakland's Dimond / Glenview district. The event will be marked by a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the building at 3:30 p.m. today, which will be attended by Oakland City Council President, Ignacio De La Fuente, who was an early supporter of the project.

"We are pleased to continue the 100-year-old tradition of providing affordable housing for seniors at the Altenheim," said James Buckley, president of Citizens Housing. "We had a great partnership with the Excelsior German Center, the City of Oakland and the neighbors that enabled us to turn this vacant, historic property back into a vibrant, affordable community for seniors."

The Altenheim (German for "elders home") was founded as a senior residence by German-speaking immigrants in the 1890s on a six-acre campus in Oakland. The Altenheim had been operated by the Excelsior German Center (formerly the Altenheim Association) until it closed in 2002. The structures, mostly dating from the 1910s, were outdated and did not meet current seismic standards.

Citizens Housing restored the campus and grounds, creating 93 studio and one-bedroom apartments. The facility includes two acres of gardens and over 10,000 square feet of community and service space that house on-site supportive services and programs for residents. The Excelsior German Center will also maintain an office at the facility to promote German cultural traditions.

A second phase of construction will add 81 additional units of new senior housing on the site by 2009. After both phases are complete, the new restored campus will consist of 174 senior housing units available to seniors earning 20% to 55% of the area median income.

The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and won a 2007 Preservation Design Award from the California Preservation Foundation.

Financing for the first phase of the project included $6 million provided by the City of Oakland. Additional financing was provided by Union Bank of California, the Federal Home Loan Bank's Affordable Housing Program, the Low Income Investment Fund, Local Initiative Support Corporation, the Northern California Community Loan Fund, and the State of California.

The building is located at 1720 MacArthur Boulevard, between Woodruff and Sheffield Avenues.

About Citizens Housing Corporation

Citizens Housing Corporation is an innovative non-profit housing developer and manager incorporated in 1992 to increase and preserve affordable housing opportunities for low-income Californians. Their diverse portfolio includes green buildings, transitional housing on a former naval base, reuse of historic buildings for affordable senior and family housing, renovation of HUD Section 8 expiring use properties, supportive housing for people with special needs, and mixed-use, transit oriented developments. Citizens Housing's current portfolio includes over 3,000 units, more than 90% of which are affordable to low-income seniors and families earning between 30% to 60% of the area median income. For more information, please visit

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