OAKLAND, Calif; August 31, 2021: Bay Area-based design and planning firm DAHLIN Group Architecture Planning (DAHLIN), in partnership with Affirmed Housing and Cahill Contractors, recently celebrated the grand opening of NOVA, a new, permanent supportive housing development in the City of Oakland. The multifamily complex provides affordable housing and on-site services to help formerly homeless and families live more stable, autonomous lives.
"Bringing NOVA to completion through a global pandemic has made a notable project even more remarkable," said Padru Kang, a design director with DAHLIN. "The drive by the entire team to move this project forward through adversity demonstrates an unwavering commitment to delivering vital, transformative resources for people who need them. The grand opening is a truly special occasion that represents a brighter future for this community and the city, and our firm is proud to be part of it."
NOVA was constructed almost entirely during the COVID-19 pandemic period. Acknowledging the urgent need for housing projects of this type, the project team worked in concert with the City of Oakland on special considerations to streamline the planning process, leading the city's first 100% affordable housing development to receive entitlement in a record period of roughly three months. The entitlement milestone was of extra significance as it was secured during an exceptionally busy time for city planners who were also dealing with mass migration impacts as people sought to move from San Francisco to Oakland. Aside from a brief pause in construction when the region's lockdown mandate was issued, NOVA's essential project status and sheer tenacity from the dedicated team allowed progress to quickly press forward with minimal bearing on the original timeline.
As part of six-story complex's design process, the DAHLIN team worked alongside Affirmed Housing and the surrounding community to inform and develop the plans. The layout strategically marries housing goals and community outreach input to deliver safe, supportive living space that contextually fits into the surrounding environment.
The site, located in proximity to medical care and public transportation, repurposes an underutilized office building lot to bring these critically needed housing units and supportive services to the area. Building access through the lobby is located on the ground level and limited to tenants, property management, case managers and 24/7 onsite security staff. Concentrated on the ground floor are residential common spaces, including a multipurpose room, community kitchen, property management and case manager offices, and an outdoor courtyard with barbecues. Additional outdoor common spaces are located on the second and sixth floors. Floors two through six house 57 units–each with its own kitchen and bath area–in a mixture of studios and single bedroom apartments and one two-bedroom unit reserved for the property manager. A dedicated trach facility is located on every floor and laundry rooms are located on every other level. Noting that the majority of the building's tenants will not have vehicles, DAHLIN capped the first-floor garage area at 10 parking spaces, including a handicapped stall, to maximize the bike storage area, which can accommodate more than 60 bicycles.
In addition to independent living, NOVA is set up to accommodate supportive service activities that include on-site workshops, group sessions, life skills and job training, one-on-one meetings and informal gatherings. Up to four case managers will work on-site to support tenants in maintaining residency by developing individualized housing and service plans with the goal of accessing the range of available offerings needed to ensure long term stability.
About DAHLIN Group Architecture Planning
DAHLIN is a San Francisco Bay Area-headquartered diverse architecture and planning practice of 150+ multicultural professionals who share a Passion for Place®. The firm works with developers, municipalities and private clients, focusing on numerous sectors including healthcare, senior living, civic markets and affordable housing. Since 1976, DAHLIN has been committed to excellence in design ̶ best demonstrated through long-term client relationships and award-winning, financially successful and sustainable design solutions. The firm maintains offices in Pleasanton, Oakland, San Diego, and Irvine, California; Bellevue, Washington; and Beijing and Shanghai, China. Visit: www.dahlingroup.com.