Before Madeline and Victor Henderson moved into their new digs at Siena Court in Pittsburg, they shared a crowded studio apartment in Antioch.
"It's so much better; the studio was very small," said Madeline Henderson, a retired child-care worker of the one-bedroom apartment she moved into in March with her husband, a welder on disability.
Not only that, but everything is new.
"To move into a place where nobody has lived is a great experience -- it really is," she said. "The people here are very friendly, and the staff is very friendly."
The Hendersons are among new tenants who have moved into Siena Court senior apartments since it opened in March. An official ribbon-cutting ceremony took place in June. Located on Railroad Avenue at Eighth street in Old Town, the project took almost two years to construct and was built on city-owned land.
The $34.4 million project was built using a combination of grants from Propostion 1C, a bond measure approved by voters in 2006 to fund affordable housing, along with redevelopment loans, tax credit equity and bank loans.
Seventy-one of the project's 110 apartments have been rented at a site that was once a vacant lot. A manager's apartment is on site.
The project features a large community room, a central courtyard with a bocce court, and a computer learning center.
Pittsburg worked with Domus Development, a nonprofit San Francisco-based affordable housing developer, to build
"We came up with a new project that was for seniors, that would be affordable for seniors on a fixed income," said Meea Kang, president of Domus. "The demand for senior housing is great, because of the aging baby boomers. They are a growing segment of the population. This is a way we can house seniors in quality-built apartments."
Besides providing affordable housing for seniors, Siena Court is also bringing more people downtown.
"We brought seniors downtown, and we think in the end there will be a lot of benefits, including more people downtown to use the services and restaurants," City Manager Joe Sbranti said.
Contact Eve Mitchell at 925-779-7189.
What: senior apartments
Where: Railroad Avenue and Eighth Street, Pittsburg
To qualify: Yearly household income restrictions apply. For a single person the limit it $29,475, while the limit for two people is $33,660. Head of household must be 55 years or older.
Monthly rent: one-bedroom is $737