A pair of non-profits held a ceremonial groundbreaking event yesterday to celebrate a joint affordable housing project 17 years in the making.
The Berkeley Way Development will provide 32 shelter beds for homeless adult men, 12 transitional housing beds for male veterans, and 53 units of permanent supportive housing for homeless and disabled people. There will also be 89 affordable rental housing units for the general population. The complex is a collaboration between Bridge Housing and The Berkeley Food and Housing Project, or BFHP.
Former BFHP executive director Terrie Light conceived the idea back in 2003, but it clearly took a long time to get into the ground. State legislation helped: In 2018, Senate Bill 35 required cities across the state to ensure they offer enough affordable housing. The Berkeley Way Development is part of Berkeley’s efforts to comply. Nearly all of the units will be rented to households making only 50 to 60 percent of the median income for the area.
At Tuesday’s groundbreaking event, current BFHP Executive Director Calleene Egan spoke about the part of the development run by BFHP, called “the Hope Center.”
“The vision of the Hope Center is to bring people experiencing homelessness together in a variety of different housing capacities on a peer to peer level offering encouragement, shared experience, and of course, hope.”
Construction is expected to be completed in May of 2022.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to detail the kinds of beds and units that the Berkeley Way Development will include.