On Thursday, The Unity Council and BRIDGE Housing were awarded $30M for the Fruitvale Transit Village Phase IIB from the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) grant program. This was a competitive grant from the State of California Strategic Growth Council, awarded to projects that help create holistic communities with affordable housing and transportation options near jobs and other vital destinations.
$20M goes into developing 181 affordable apartments at Fruitvale Village “Phase IIB,” transforming a surface parking lot into sustainable, clean and modern housing for individuals and families who earn between 20% and 80% of Area Median Income (AMI), including 46 units of permanent supportive housing. This demonstrates exciting momentum for the long-awaited continuation of the Fruitvale Transit Village, which celebrated its grand opening more than 15 years ago.
But that’s only part of the story.
$10M of this award will be invested in transportation and neighborhood infrastructure improvements that will benefit all residents, commuters, and visitors to Fruitvale. This is tax-payer dollars put to work for the benefit of the community at large and provides a compelling case for increasing investments in community-supported housing developments. Funding from this award will pay for four new BART cars, which help to alleviate crowding in the train during commute hours will add more frequent cars through the Fruitvale BART station. This funding will also go to street improvements at four AC Transit BRT stops, including bus shelters and ADA compliant curb ramps, to increase accessibility and safety for all. Cyclists win with a new protected cycle track being developed below the BART tracks. And pedestrians will benefit from the safety, visibility, and mobility improvements along International Blvd and Fruitvale Ave, such as improved pedestrian lighting, signage, and landscaped buffers.
Altogether, these improvements and investments in Fruitvale help create safe, attractive, and vibrant public spaces for the thousands of children, families, teens, and elders that call Fruitvale home.