Reflecting & Rejoicing Celebrating 60 Years of Impact »

The Unity Council recently celebrated another significant milestone, The Unity Council’s founder and former CEO’s first-ever tour inside Casa Arabella!  

As Arabella Martinez took her first steps inside Casa Arabella, the 94-unit affordable housing units next to the current construction site of Casa Sueños, she was overjoyed with the idea that after several decades in the making, she was able to walk into the apartment complex named in her honor.       

“It’s so beautiful,” said Martinez. “I remember when this used to be a parking lot and building affordable housing here was only a vision.”  

The August 26th tour hosted by current CEO Chris Iglesias included former colleagues as well as new friends in the affordable housing sector. As the group walked throughout the building, Martinez was seen in complete awe by Casa Arabella’s murals, greenery, and amenities like the Community Room.

Opened in December 2019, Casa Arabella provides permanent affordable housing to close to 400 residents in the Bay Area whose household income is at or below 20-60% of the area median income. More than 20% of the units are reserved for formerly homeless U.S. military veterans. The apartments, located within steps of the Fruitvale BART Station draws on the influences of the neighborhood’s vibrancy and style, blending comfortable family townhomes with one-, two-, and three-bedroom flats.  

“It was a touching moment to see Arabella walk into Casa Arabella for the first time,” said Chris Iglesias, CEO of The Unity Council. “From the monitors that display when the next BART train comes to the hummingbirds throughout the building that represent who she is, small and statute, but brave and powerful.”