Alameda Celebrates Jack Capon Villa, Affordable Apartments for Developmentally Disabled

$5.8 million in housing credit equity

ALAMEDA, Calif. (May 16, 2014) – Parents, residents and advocates joined Satellite Affordable Housing Associates (SAHA), Housing Consortium of the East Bay (HCEB), the Housing Authority of the City of Alameda, partners and supporters to celebrate the grand opening of Jack Capon Villa, a landmark project for Alameda’s engaged and growing community of people with developmental disabilities.  

Jack Capon Villa is the city of Alameda’s first multi-family affordable housing project for adults with developmental disabilities. Built in response to local advocacy on behalf of this highly vulnerable population, the project is named after the late Jack Capon, a long-time Alameda resident who founded the city’s Special Olympics. The property provides 18 permanent affordable one- and two-bedroom apartments for households in which at least one member has a disability and total household income is at or below 50 percent of area median income (AMI).  Because of project-based Section 8 vouchers provided by Alameda’s housing authority, residents pay 30 percent of their adjusted monthly income for rent.

For the parents of adults with developmental disabilities, a common fear is what becomes of their children when family is no longer able to support them adequately. “Because of the costs of care, the fact that few disabled adults are able to earn enough money to support themselves, and the limits of social security income, this population is especially vulnerable to housing instability, medically unnecessary institutionalization, and other restrictive living arrangements,” Darin Lounds, Executive Director of HCEB explains.   “HCEB is proud to be able to provide relief for some of these families by creating quality affordable housing that maximizes each person’s independence.  But the need is great and there is much more to be done.”  

Creating homes for special needs populations has become even more difficult in the wake of rising housing prices and the elimination of affordable housing funding programs. Jack Capon Villa was the last project developed in the city of Alameda with redevelopment agency funding, which was eliminated statewide in 2012. Susan Friedland, Executive Director of Satellite Affordable Housing Associates, which co-developed the project, urges policymakers to remember the housing needs of low-income families with special needs children. “The demand for supportive affordable housing for adults with developmental disabilities is urgent and clear. We have a waiting list of more than 500 individuals for the 18 units. We hope the success of this project will inspire more investment on behalf of these especially vulnerable members of our community.”

One of the few developments of its kind in the Bay Area, the housing builds upon a successful model for enabling independent living by combining on-site services and facilitated connection to off-site resources. Services provided to the residents include case management; adult educational, health and wellness or skill building classes; health and wellness services and programs; language access; and health or behavioral health services. Instead of unnecessary institutionalization or other restrictive living arrangements, residents can live in a safe and supportive community, in many cases the community they grew up in.

Barbara Capon, widow of the advocate and Alameda Special Olympics founder for whom the project is named, expressed the pride she believed her husband would have felt if he had seen the development: “Jack Capon Villa is a beautiful home for a beautiful community – providing ease of mind to families, joy and support to individuals, a good neighbor to downtown residents, and inspiration to the many of us who care for adults with developmental disabilities.”

Jack Capon Villa features artwork by Creative Growth Art Center, an award-winning Oakland based nonprofit serving artists with disabilities. Artist Cedric Johnson’s ceramic tiles in the front walkway and porch columns are visible from Lincoln Avenue. In addition, other Creative Growth artists participated in the project, crafting landscape sculptures, ceramic landscape wall art, and ceramic tiles at each unit entry.

Funding partners for the project included the Housing Authority of the City of Alameda, Enterprise Community Investment, Inc., Alameda County, Bank of America, Bank of Marin (formerly Bank of Alameda) and the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco.

Jack Capon Villa was co-developed and is co-owned by Satellite Affordable Housing Associates and Housing Consortium of the East Bay, in partnership with the Housing Authority of the City of Alameda. For event photos, go to

About the Development Team

Satellite Affordable Housing Associates (SAHA) is based in Berkeley and draws on 66 years of experience to provide quality affordable homes and services that empower people and strengthen neighborhoods. SAHA’s innovative properties currently serve more than 3,000 residents in 56 developments located in seven northern California.

Housing Consortium of the East Bay (HCEB) was founded in 1996 to address the shortage of affordable housing options for people with developmental disabilities, and currently owns and manages 29 properties for low-income adults with developmental disabilities or other special needs.

Housing Authority of the City of Alameda was established in 1940 and advocates and provides quality affordable safe housing, encourages self-sufficiency, and strengthens community inclusiveness and diversity in housing.