April, 2010 — Unity Homes Cooperative is scheduled for an $8 million substantial rehabilitation, to begin later in 2010. One of the last remaining federally-subsidized cooperatives in northern California, Unity Homes has managed to last 38 years without the need for major intervention. However, as the development approaches the end of its original 40 year mortgage, HUD has determined that now is the perfect time to “add another 40 years!”
Scheduled rehabilitation will include: Complete removal and replacement of exterior siding on ten (10) buildings; conversion of the gas & electric delivery system to individual unit metering (the development currently pays $14,000 to PG&E monthly); replacement of kitchen cabinets, all windows (to energy efficient dual-pane windows); carpets & vinyl floor covering; retrofitting the site office to comply with ADA requirements; and, a complete site landscape remake.
The process began in 2006 with meetings between HUD and the coop Board of Governors, and has included securing pre-development funding, securing primary funding and hiring of an architectural firm to prepare drawings for review. A major stumbling block arose when the process was halted by HUD until a similar rehabilitation project at another nearby development was completed. This caused the original funding group to drop out, and required securing another firm quickly, before HUD lost confidence and interest.
With the pre-development phase almost complete, Unity Homes looks to meet with HUD for closing by June, with work to begin soon afterwards — to ensure that the exposed building exteriors are fixed prior to the next rainy season. In the event the exterior is not likely to be done before October, the interior rehabilitation will commence.