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Affordable Housing Community Wins Prestigious National Recognition


San Jose, Calif- The American Institute of Architects has awarded Paseo Senter at Coyote Creek, a multi-family affordable housing development, the 2010 AIA/HUD Secretary’s Award of Excellence in Affordable Housing Design.

picture of Coyote Creek Affordable Housing Community

Designed by David Baker, FAIA LEED AP and Kevin Wilcock, AIA, LEED AP, partners with the San Francisco based Architects, David Baker + Partners. Paseo Senter answers the need for affordable housing in an area previously disconnected and underutilized in the City of San José. “I wish to congratulate the developers of Paseo Senter for achieving this recognition and for creating a high-quality, livable community that is affordable to many of our community’s most needy residents,” said Mayor Chuck Reed.

The Housing and Custom Residential Knowledge Community of the AIA, in conjunction with HUD, recognizes excellence in affordable housing architecture, neighborhood design, participatory design, and accessibility. Good design is a cornerstone of thriving homes and communities of all incomes and backgrounds. These awards demonstrate that design matters, and provide examples of important benchmarks in the housing industry.

The developers, The Core Companies and Charities Housing, in collaboration with the City, converted numerous blighted parcels, located south of the Rockspring neighborhood, into a lively, well designed affordable housing development for low- and extremely low-income families. The 4.7 acre project fills an important need in the community as evidenced by over 3,000 applications received for the 218 rental unit project.

The City provided $12,972,180 in City loans for the construction of Paseo Senter at Coyote Creek. Since 1988, the City has financed the construction of over 18,000 affordable housing units. “This development creates a community that fosters a sense of pride in the neighborhood and provides a myriad of services that meet the needs of the residents and their families,” said Leslye Krutko, Director of Housing.

The County of Santa Clara also contributed $1,150,000 in Affordable Housing Funds to this project. “This is a great example of public and private agencies working together to improve the quality of life for our residents,” said County of Santa Clara Supervisor George Shirakawa, District 2, where the project is located. “The Paseo Senter project is a source of pride for its residents and it benefits the entire community.”

The community was conceived as a new urban district. It is organized around a main street, Paseo Senter, which runs from the facing arterial roadway to the 13-acre Coyote Creek Park green space. Though this Paseo allows access by vehicles, it is designed to calm traffic and encourage pedestrian use. The Paseo bustles with the activity of entry stoops, a community room, a library, leasing offices, social worker support spaces, a child-care center, American Indian Educational Program center, and a grandparent caregiver center. Three stories of residential apartments are located above in a classic urban mixed-use style. Near the mid-point of the Paseo lies a public plaza that borders the main entries to the residential units. This communal open space combines gardens and a palm grove with an active play area, gathering spaces and a swimming pool.

“In addition to bringing much needed affordable housing to our local community, we are fulfilling a larger responsibility by leaving a lasting impression that affordable housing can be both beautiful and functional,” said Dan Wu, Executive Directive of Charities Housing.

David Neale, President of The CORE Companies, is proud of this development and the need it fulfills for its residents. “Paseo Senter represents the best in affordable housing design, located in a transitional neighborhood in San Jose, where families of moderate means can live, work and play in a safe, clean and enriching community.”

Paseo Senter also received the following awards: the 2010 NAHRO Award of Merit in Housing and Community Development; 2009 Multi-Housing News Honorable Mention Design Excellence Awards for Affordable Housing; 2009 Residential Architect Design Merit Award; 2008 Silicon Valley Business Journal Structures Award for Community Impact; 2007 Silicon Valley Business Journal Structures Award for Affordable Housing Development of the Year.

From its founding in 1777 as California's first city, San Jose has been a leader, driven by its spirit of innovation. Today, San Jose stands as the largest city in Northern California and the Capital of Silicon Valley—the world's leading center of innovation. The city, the 10th largest in the U.S., is committed to remaining a top-ranked place to do business, to work and to live. For more information, visit,

Media Contact: Gwendolyn Mitchell/Lingxia Meng, County of Santa Clara, 408.299.5130; Theresa Hayes, City of San Jose Housing Department, 408.533.8234
Posted: June 18, 2010