ALAMEDA -- To many of those looking for homes, "affordable housing" and "Alameda" don't belong in the same sentence, as properties and rentals on the Island are expensive relative to some neighboring communities.

But for qualified applicants, low-income housing does exist in Alameda. And some organizations hope to improve its quality and bring more of it to the Island.

On Friday, one of those organizations -- Renewed Hope Housing Advocates -- will be honored by East Bay Housing Organizations in recognition of its efforts. The event, which takes place at Oakland's Uptown Body and Fender, 401 26th St., kicks off Affordable Housing Week that runs through May 19.

"Affordable Housing Week is organized by East Bay Housing Organizations and starts on the second Friday in May every year," said Laura Thomas, Renewed Hope Housing Advocates president, of the event, which runs from 5:30 to 8 p.m. "This year, they're honoring Renewed Hope, an advocacy group formed in Alameda in 1999 during the dot.com era when people were being thrown out of their apartments."

Another organization, the Alameda Development Corporation, sponsors a tour of affordable housing sites in Alameda on Saturday. The ADC, under its new campaign banner of Alameda Home Team, will kick off this event at 10 a.m. at the soon-to-be-completed Park Alameda, the former Islander Motel, located at 2428 Central Ave.


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This event includes refreshments and a panel discussion followed by the tour.

"(Affordable housing) is all over the island," ADC president Helen Sause said. "We'll be showing people examples of affordable housing all around Alameda. They blend in (with their surroundings)."

Park Alameda will hold its official grand opening at 10 a.m. Wednesday. Other examples of low-cost housing on the Island include the 38-unit Shinsei Gardens near College of Alameda, and the nearby Breakers at Bayport Apartments.

Currently under construction is the Jack Capon Village, 2216 Lincoln Ave. When completed, the project will consist of 18 units of one- and two-bedrooms for people with disabilities and special needs.

Historically, adequate housing became an Alameda concern in the early 1940s, when World War II led to the migration of shipyard workers and laborers in other war-related industries from other parts of the country.

In later years, Housing Opportunities Provided Equally (H.O.P.E.) advocated for fair housing. After a long dormant period, H.O.P.E re-emerged as Renewed Hope Housing Advocates.

For some, "affordable housing" leads to increased worries, with visions of run-down properties and crime running rampant.

But in the majority of cases, that is more stereotype than fact.

"Affordable housing has become a symbol of something bad," Sause said. "Sometimes you just need a helping hand. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee is a perfect example. He grew up in public housing in Seattle."

FYI
Tickets for Friday's Affordable Housing Week opening event at Uptown Body and Fender are available at http://ebho.org/2012-02-07-00-50-21/affordable-housing-week/2013-kick-off.
Those wishing to register for the ADC's tour of affordable housing in Alameda on Saturday may do so at http://heartofalameda.eventbrite.com/.