• San Jose, California
  • Affirmed Housing

The name translating to candle, Vela represents the light a home offers to those struggling with homelessness.

As a transit-oriented, GreenPoint Rated development less than 200 feet from a rapid bus transit line, Vela cohesively blends 43 affordable apartments for families and individuals experiencing homelessness with 14 units for the County’s Rapid Rehousing Program (RRH) and 29 permanent supportive housing units into one community.

One of the first projects in the City of San Jose to get entitled using SB35, it replaces approximately 8,000 square feet of one-story, multitenant neighborhood-serving commercial retail with surface parking. Responding to a site that fronts onto an area of low-rise retail and fast food restaurants and is adjacent to single-family homes, the building steps down from the commercial front, acting as a transitional element.

Parking is accommodated on the ground level with an adjoining commercial space and residents lobby on the commercial-facing side. The parking and a 90 long-term resident bicycle storage area reduces the parking requirement to 0.4 ratio for the residents. A community courtyard amenity with tot-lot is located on the second level adjacent to social services and offices. On the fourth level, over 4,000 square feet of community open space and gardens with lounge areas are adjacent to a community room and tv room. Complementing these amenities are extensive onsite supportive services and 24/7 onsite security for residents.

Project Specs

Site Area:0.6 acre
Building Area:112,182 sqft total | 2,742 sqft commercial
Number of Units:86 apartments | 2 manager apartments
Density/FAR:142 du/ac


2023 Gold Nugget Merit Award, Best Affordable Housing Community, 60 du/ac or more

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