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Los Altos welcomes affordable housing options


Above photo by Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier; left graphic courtesy of Colonnade Los Altos
Colonnade Los Altos has scheduled a lottery for 17 upcoming below-market-rate units.

More affordable housing options are coming to Los Altos, and prospective residents have until the end of the month to submit their applications for a lottery drawing.

“It’s a terrific opportunity for very high-quality apartments in an urban setting so close to shopping on El Camino,” said David Kornfield, the city’s planning services manager.

Colonnade Los Altos at 4750 El Camino Real will rent 17 below-market-rate (BMR) apartments – 16 one- and two-bedroom apartments for residents with very low incomes and a one-bedroom unit for a renter with a low income.

The salary range for those qualifying under the “very low income” requirement is $37,250 for one person to $57,450 for five people. The “low income” requirement limits the range from $59,400 for one person to $76,4000 for three people. The amounts are based on Santa Clara County’s median income of $106,300 for a four-person household.

The rent on the BMR units will run between $923 and $1,561 monthly. Comparatively, market-rate apartments are in the $3,000-$5,250 range.

In addition to income limits, the city will assign prospective renters priority rankings, with preference given to salaried employees of the city, school districts and fire department serving Los Altos residents. Other rankings include current Los Altos residents and workers. Final priority will go to those who either live or work in Santa Clara County.

According to Sares-Regis Group property manager Justin Whitsitt, the Colonnade’s management team has received 60 BMR preapplications and expects “a lot more.” To include more eligible applicants, Sares-Regis Group extended the deadline for preliminary applications from July 17 to July 31.

Of 167 units total, Stanford University leased 150 apartments for staff housing. The 17 BMR units will be spread throughout the complex and include the same amenities as the rest.

“We’ve found that you don’t want to segregate anyone,” said Karen Bowman, Sares-Regis Group regional vice president. “You just want it to have one sense of community.”

Kornfield said the Colonnade features the city’s largest number of BMR rentals in one location. Los Altos has 105 affordable multiple-family BMR units, including 32 rentals, 22 senior units and 44 second-living units, he added.

After the preliminary application deadline, the Colonnade management team will schedule a lottery drawing for the apartments. Whitsitt anticipates that four apartments will be available by the end of summer and the others will open through four project phases.

To submit a preapplication for the lottery process, visit leaselosaltos.com/affordable-housing-information.

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