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Thursday, July 25, 2024
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NewsCommunityDeveloper of Sunnyhills Apartments renews HUD contract for 5 more years

Developer of Sunnyhills Apartments renews HUD contract for 5 more years

Residents of the Sunnyhills Apartments can breathe a sigh of relief – at least for the next 5 years. 

JMK Investments, the developer of the historic apartment complex, recently renewed the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) contract until 2028, ensuring that 149 of the units there maintain subsidized housing status. 

Weeks ago, things looked uncertain…

Residents of the Sunnyhills Apartments spent recent months launching a petition and asking the City of Milpitas for support in retaining their affordable housing. 

The City had conversations with the developer, leading to a renewed contract of 5 additional years, which was approved by HUD on March 7. 

“I am pleased that after tremendous advocacy efforts, residents of Sunnyhills will have some peace of mind with this announcement,” said Milpitas City Councilmember Anthony Phan. “Additionally, the renewal allows the city more time to continue working towards a longer-term solution to ensure residents their access toward affordable housing.” 

Back in 2017, JMK Investments expressed their desire to terminate the HUD contract and demolish the Sunnyhills Apartments in order to build market-rate units. Not wanting residents to be displaced, the City of Milpitas stepped in to offer a solution toward preserving the subsidized housing that had been in existence for the past 3 decades; they gave the developer $1.25 million (broken down into 5 payments of $250,000 over 5 years) to be put toward repairs and maintenance, in exchange for a 5-year HUD contract renewal. 

This time, though, the City didn’t put any additional funding into the complex, The Beat was told by Interim Housing Lead Alex Andrade, who is also the City of Milpitas’ Director of Economic Development. 

“There was no investment at this point, but we’ve had multiple dialogues with the property owner over the years, and we’re interested in more conversations that result in a long-term partnership with the property owner to benefit the residents of Sunnyhills Apartments,” said Andrade in an interview with The Beat.  

In 2020, the City had also approved additional funding in the amount of $200,000 for roof replacement at the Sunnyhills Apartments. These funds were taken from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).

“We wanted residents to be able to have a safe environment,” said Andrade. “So the City has put a total of $1.45 million into this program.”  

Located at 1724 Sunnyhills Ct. in Milpitas, the Sunnyhills Apartment complex was developed in 1971. In 1985, JMK Investments acquired the property. There are 171 total units, and 22 of those are considered market-rate. 

“I am incredibly proud of City staff’s work and commitment to preserving affordable housing and improving housing quality for Milpitas residents,” Milpitas City Manager Steve McHarris shared with The Beat in an email.  

There’s no telling what the future has in store for the Sunnyhills Apartments. Andrade spoke of how this renewed contract gives the City more time to have further conversations with the developer to determine how to help sustainably preserve affordable housing for residents in the future. 

For the past six years, Milpitas resident Allysson McDonald has been a champion of the cause, supporting Sunnyhills residents and advocating for more affordable housing solutions in our community:

“I’m relieved that the contract has been finalized. But I truly wish that the process was different, and that the tenants didn’t have to go through this every 5 years,” said McDonald to the Beat. “I just deeply believe that everyone deserves a roof over their heads, and that we should be a community with room for people of all different economic means.”

 



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Rhoda Shapiro
Rhoda Shapiro
Rhoda Shapiro is the winner of a 2022 Golden Quill Award for her Education journalism. She works as a journalist and media consultant in the Bay Area. She has written for both the Tri-City Voice and the Mercury News, and is the founder of Chi Media Company, which works mostly with nonprofit organizations and educational entities to elevate their marketing and communication platforms. Rhoda is also the author of “Fierce Woman: Wake up your Badass Self” and “Magic Within: Womb-Centered Wisdom to Realize the Power of Your Sacred Feminine Self.” Her YouTube channel features practices in yoga, meditation, and women’s empowerment. Rhoda is The Milpitas Beat’s Founder and Editor-in-Chief.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Our Assembly member, Alex Lee, is pushing social housing legislation (AB 309). Perhaps the City could assist Sunnyhills Apartments through the process to become social housing. He says “I’m proud to continue the charge for social housing to fill missing gaps, provide affordable housing for all, and move toward a more equitable future with dignified housing for all strata of society.” IMO, providing housing for everyone is a national problem, but HUD and the dead-locked Congress are not addressing the problem. So, let’s do things at the state level … and even the city level.
    .
    Here’s the media release: https://a24.asmdc.org/press-releases/20230126-bill-pursue-social-housing-california-introduced
    .
    Here’s the legislation: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=202320240AB309

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