San Antonio Tour

210 San Antonio Circle, Mountain View, CA 94040

Date and Time

Friday, January 26 2018 - 11:30 AM

Event Details

On January 26, 2018, ASPIRE invited its members on the first property tour of 2018: San Antonio Place in Mountain View. San Antonio Place is a 120-unit efficiency apartment aiming to relieve the housing crisis for low-income individuals in the Bay Area. ASPIRE had the pleasure to be hosted by Kathy Robinson, Director of Housing Development at Charities Housing.

Prior to the tour, we came together for lunch at Chef Chu’s, a Chinese restaurant famed for its delectable dishes and celebrity fans, such as Serena Williams or Justin Bieber as much as important figures like George P. Schultz, former US Secretary of State. As we enjoyed the food, we learned more about what brought our interests together in affordable housing.

After the lunch, we took a short 10-minute walk to San Antonio Place where we were warmly greeted by Kathy Robinson and Laura Ruiz, the on-site property manager. Since its competition and opening in 2005, the property has been in constant operation to provide housing for individuals whose income fall in the range of 15% to 45% of the median income. While San Antonio Place is incredibly affordable, we learned that the property rarely has any vacancy and its wait-list is a highly competitive pool (around 300+ applicants for one recently vacant apartment). In addition, the process to prove eligibility is complicated by certain number of requirements such as non-student status and marital status. We also toured a 325-square-feet room and heard Ms. Robinson discuss the designing aspect of the property.

After having acquainted ourself with the property’s structure, we sat down to chat with Ms. Robinson about the financing of the project. To our surprise, we realized that the construction cost of an affordable housing property is not cheaper, if not more expensive, than that of a luxury apartment. Ms. Robinson revealed to us that the property’s finance is multi-layered with a heavy reliance on tax credits. A quick lesson on tax policies and the government was also a great bonus learning experience for many ASPIRE members on this tour.

In sum, the tour was a crucial experience for ASPIRE in broadening interest and knowledge in affordable housing real estate. In the future, we hope to replicate this experience and bring it closer to the Stanford student body.