Wakeland’s Newest Housing Project is Affordable and Green

Amid unprecedented housing-affordability challenges for low-income families, Wakeland Housing and Development Corp. and Chula Vista city leaders today celebrated the grand opening of the region’s newest affordable housing project, which is targeted for the highest distinction in “green” building.

Los Vecinos Apartments, a $17.6 million, 42-unit complex in Southwest Chula Vista, was designed and built to achieve LEED* Platinum certification for energy savings and efficiencies. The project features an extensive solar power system that will provide nearly 100 percent of the development’s electricity.

Other design features include the heavy use of ceiling fans and natural ventilation instead of air conditioning. Tankless hot water heaters, Energy Star appliances and high-efficacy lighting fixtures will keep energy costs to a minimum. Landscaping and irrigation techniques and low-flow fixtures will minimize water use.

Residents who fully utilize the energy-efficient features of Los Vecinos will have an opportunity to save money on their electric and water bills.

“In going green we committed to minimizing energy and water use, but also to creating durable, energy-efficient housing for decades to come,” said Ken Sauder, president of Wakeland Housing. “Many of the choices we made inside the units and around the complex were dictated by a desire to develop a project that will stand up well over time.”

Los Vecinos consists of 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom units on three floors as well as a 1,500-square-foot community center, where residents will have access to programs on health and wellness, finance and computer literacy and “going green.” Families earning between $16,600 and $58,800 will reside there.

Major funders of the project included Red Capital Markets, Inc., Wells Fargo Bank, City of Chula Vista Redevelopment Agency, California Community Reinvestment Corporation and California Energy Commission/New Solar Homes Partnership.

Wakeland’s development partners for Los Vecinos included: design by Rodriguez Associates Architects & Planners, built by Wermers Construction and green consultant Global Green USA. SDG&E underwrote key analyses of energy-efficiency strategies for the project.

*The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.

This is great news for the people that qualify for this kind of housing, but the rest of us will still have to pay for our electricity. Unless you can build your own solar power panel, of course.


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