A brand new housing concept is coming to the Bay Area in Summer 2023. Dubbed the “Agrihood” (Agricultural Neighborhood), the new project is a 5.8-acre affordable housing site for seniors and veterans with a special twist: a fully operable 1.7 acre farm built right into the property.
The Agrihood is an exciting new project sponsored by The Core Companies, a Santa-Clara based real estate development and construction firm headed by Paul Ring and Vince Cantore. Beginning in 2016, the projected plans for 90 North Winchester Boulevard have gone through several changes but the core concept has remained. According to Core Companies, Agrihood “remains a unique public-private partnership with the City of Santa Clara that will house people of all incomes side-by-side.”
The current plans for the Agrihood envision a total of 361 units, of which 181 will be designated for affordable housing. The affordable housing in the Agrihood alone will account for 10% of Santa Clara’s affordable housing target, and the rest of the units will provide important opportunities for younger people and middle-aged families.
According to the developers, the mixed housing at the Agrihood will create a multigenerational community that will bring people together and help generate class mobility, something that is integral to a region in which nearly half of the homeless population is over 50. To help remedy this, the Agrihood will also feature 54 permanent supportive housing units that the county will fill with unhoused older adults.
But the housing is only half of the story. The star of the show is the fully integrated farm around which the Agrihood is being developed. Designed by the Oakland-based farming company, Farmscape, the farm is estimated to provide nearly 20,000 pounds of food to the community as well as create volunteer and community building opportunities.
According to Farmscape co-owner Lara Hermanson, the “organic, sustainable and regenerative farm” will be operational year-round, growing staples like tomatoes and peppers in the summer and broccoli and lettuce greens in the winter. Most importantly, Agrihood residents and community members will be able to volunteer their time to prepare and harvest the farm under the guidance of the professional staff that tends the food gardens.
The new project is an ambitious new way to build a strong community across generations and class, and the integrated farm will help make “Affordable Food” synonymous with “Affordable Housing,” as often times people severely impacted by the housing crisis struggle as hard to afford food as they do housing.
While the Agrihood has just broken first ground at 90 North Winchester Boulevard, there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done to bring the project into its full vision. We can expect the new eco-housing to be open to residents by Summer 2023.