Santa Ana-based developer Urban Housing Communities LLC held a ceremonial groundbreaking last week at the project site of the KTGY Group-designed Horizons at Morgan Hill in the city of Morgan Hill.

Horizons at Morgan Hill is a 49-unit affordable senior housing community developed in collaboration with the Morgan Hill Redevelopment Agency, Bank of America and KTGY. Upon completion in August 2011, the new $21.2-million community will offer healthy, supportive and eco-friendly apartment homes to seniors 55 years and older earning between 30% and 50% of Santa Clara County median income.

Horizons at Morgan Hill will offer 36 one-bedroom, one-bath and 13 two-bedroom, two-bath apartment homes, averaging approximately 778 sq ft and 1,025 sq ft, respectively, and occupying a single three‐story building. Each apartment home will offer a covered patio/balcony, central heat and air conditioning, walk‐in closets, Energy Star lighting, windows and appliances (including a refrigerator, dishwasher and garbage disposal), water‐saving kitchen and bathroom fixtures, dual flush toilets, a gas range, washer/dryer hookups, tankless water heaters, high‐speed internet access, and be wired for cable television. Rents are expected to range from $597 to $1,193 per month, based on family size and income level.

Kent Construction of Gilroy is the general contractor for the project.

Located on 2.60 acres of land at 98 E. Central Avenue at the intersection of Central Avenue and McLaughlin Avenue, west of Highway 101, Horizons at Morgan Hill will feature a spacious 3,000-sq-ft community center with a computer lab, media center, a fully-equipped kitchen, a manager’s office, laundry facilities, community garden, swimming pool, picnic and BBQ area, and generously landscaped courtyard areas. 

The community center will also serve as the location of a supportive services program provided by UHC’s non-profit partner, Central Valley Coalition for Affordable Housing (CVC). CVC provides resident‐based services to support seniors in achieving personal, financial and family goals. By building long‐term, trusting relationships with senior residents, CVC encourages individuals to find and follow their own path. Services include budget planning, housekeeping tips, credit counseling, resume writing, computer training, physical fitness instruction and health/nutrition classes.

“We have designed ample open space and multiple seating areas to promote interaction and activity among the residents of the Horizons at Morgan Hill,” says KTGY Studio Director Alan Scales. “Additionally, the pedestrian-friendly location, a great swimming pool, physical fitness and nutrition classes, and a community garden encourage the residents to stay physically active and healthy.”

Adding to the healthy lifestyle is the eco-friendly, sustainable design. Horizons at Morgan Hill has been designed to exceed Title 24 energy-efficiency standards by more than 15%, lowering energy consumption and providing another cost-saving benefit to residents. Solar panels will generate electricity for community room and outdoor common area lighting.

Additional green features include zero‐VOC interior paint and primer, and low‐VOC paints, adhesives and finishes for all interior application; low dust stucco; formaldehyde free Insulation; insulated walls, ceilings, floor joists, and roofs; fiber cement siding that contains recycled content, does not emit harmful chemicals into the environment and is manufactured in environmentally friendly plants (SFI certified); energy-efficient roofing that contains recycled content, does not emit harmful chemicals into the environment and is manufactured in plants that are ISO 14001 certified; hard surface flooring in all areas to improve indoor air quality and reduce flooring replacement; furniture, barbeques, trash and recycling receptacles made from recycled content; recycling receptacles provided throughout the site and central recycling bins provided at each trash location to encourage recycling; nonsmoking buildings or sections of buildings to improve indoor air quality for health of residents; landscaping features minimal turf areas, drought‐tolerant non‐invasive plants that do not require shearing; and plants grouped by water needs.

Additionally, Kent Construction plans to recycle a portion of the construction waste.

UHC began collaborating with the city of Morgan Hill’s Redevelopment Agency in 2005 to develop housing opportunities forlow income seniors who were long time residents. The Redevelopment Agency committed funding through a soft loan and UHC secured financing through the highly competitive 9% tax credit program. Additional financing for the project was provided by National Equity Fund (NEF), the Bank of America Community Development Corporation (BACDC), the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), the county of Santa Clara, the Housing Trust of Santa Clara County and the Affordable Housing Program (AHP) of the Federal Home Loan Bank.

Horizons at Morgan Hill is UHC’s fifth project to begin construction in less than 120 days. UHC recently broke ground on The Crossings on 29th Street, a 34-unit affordable community in South Los Angeles; The Crossings at North Hills, a 38-unit rehab property in the San Fernando Valley; The Crossings at Big Bear Lake, a 42-unit affordable housing community targeting families in Big Bear Lake; and The Crossings at Escondido, a residential community that will feature 55 high quality, affordable apartment homes for working families in San Diego County. KTGY was the designer for all five projects.