Company History

For many years, Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County knew one of the most significant needs of many people receiving services was affordable housing. As a result, they formed Charities Housing in 1993 to address that need. Charities Housing is organized as a Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) where a third of our board members are representatives of the low-income communities that we serve.
In our first ten years, we completed eleven developments in six cities throughout Santa Clara County totaling over 475 units. The range of housing types includes service-enriched housing for extremely low-income individuals as well as traditional affordable multi-family housing. Today, Charities Housing oversees the management and operation of over 1,000 units in seven cities throughout Santa Clara County and provides multiple resident services through a range of non-profit partners.

News and Awards

  1. 2016

    1. Affordable Housing Finance Readers’ Choice Awards

      July/August 2016
      Charities Housing took a new approach when developing its 59-unit Parkside Studios in Sunnyvale, Calif. The 370-square-foot micro-unit studios were built off-site in a warehouse near Sacramento by modular manufacturer ZETA Communities. Read More

  2. 2014

    1. Parkside Studios and Prefab Modular Construction

      July 4, 2014
      Charities Housing jumps into prefab modular construction with Parkside Studios.  Featured in “Prefab buildings snap into place” in the San Francisco Business Times.  Read More

  3. 2013

    1. Archer Studios Grand Award Winner

      October 8, 2013
      Archer Studios named 2013 Grand Award winner for Affordable Workforce Housing by Builder’s Choice Awards.  Read More

    2. Paseo Senter featured by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

      February 28, 2013
      Paseo Senter at Coyote Creek is a featured case study by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  Read More

  4. 2012

    1. 2012 Citation Awards – AIA San Diego

      October 4, 2012
      American Institute of Architects San Diego Chapter awards Archer Studios with 2012 Citation Award.  Read More

    2. 2012 MHN Excellence Award

      September 24, 2012
      Archer Studios receives 2012 Gold MHN Excellence Award by Multi-Housing News for Best New Development: Low-Income Housing.  Read More

    3. Archer Studios on the forefront of micro-units

      August 31, 2012
      Archer Studios featured in “The upside of downsizing” by Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal.  Read More

    4. Top 25 Construction Projects in the City of San Jose

      July 27, 2012
      Two projects by Charities Housing are ranked in the top 25 by Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal.  Read More

  5. 2011

    1. Housing Trust of Santa Clara County honors Charities Housing

      April 8, 2011
      The Housing Trust of Santa Clara County bestowed the “Housing Champion” award to Charities Housing at its annual Investor Briefing.  Read More

    2. Merritt Community Capital Corporation honors Charities Housing

      November 4, 2011
      Merritt Community Capital Corporation bestowed 2011 Sponsor of the Year award to Charities Housing and 2011 Project of the Year to Homesafe Santa Clara and Homesafe San Jose.  

  6. 2010

    1. Paseo Senter recognized in “The Design Excellence Awards 2009″

      November 2009
      Paseo Senter was recognized as an Honorable Mention in the category of Affordable Housing by The Design Excellence Awards presented by Multi-Housing News.
      See Awards list from The Design Excellence Awards

    2. Paseo Senter Wins National AIA Award

      Paseo Senter Wins National AIA Award

  7. 2009

    1. RADA– Merit Award for Affordable Housing awarded to Paseo Senter

      February 2009
      The 10th annual residential architect Design Awards received more than 1,100 entries in 16 categories. Read article in the residential architect online

  8. 2008

    1. A Haven Opens Downtown for Valley’s Displaced Young People

      April 9, 2008
      Read the Mercury News article about the opening of Sobrato Youth Center

    2. A Home Safe and Sound, Right Next Door

      July 23, 2008
      Read the Santa Clara Weekly article about HomeSafe Santa Clara

    3. Community Impact Award

      October 2008
      Paseo Senter is awarded “Community Impact Award” by the Silicon Valley Business Journal, Structures 2008. Read the article in the Business Journal.

    4. Moving in, Moving Up: Affordable housing opens

      May 4, 2008
      Read the Mercury News aricle about the opening of Paseo Senter at Coyote Creek

    5. Out of Balance. The Risk of the nation’s shrinking affordable housing supply.

      September 2008
      Read the Affordable Housing Finance article that references Paseo Senter

  9. 2007

    1. Blue Ribbon Commission to End Homelessness and Solve Affordable Housing crisis now available

      Click on the link below to see the Housing Silicon Valley report. For paper copies e-mail info@charitieshousing.org or call (408) 282-1133.

      Housing Silicon Valley report

    2. Break Out of the Box – How Community Input is Driving New Affordable Housing Designs

      Affordable Housing Finance, September 2007
      It started in June 2001 with a survey asking neighbors and residents of Seattle’s High Point development which of seven housing types they preferred for the site…

      Click here to see full article

    3. Full Circle Fund “2007 Forum: You’ve Got the Power”

      November 2007
      On November 14, 2007 at the “2007 Forum: You’ve Got the Power” Full Circle Fund event, Chris Block, was honored in their showcase of bold models of social change. Full Circle Fund stated the following: “He has been a great mobilizer in Silicon Valley, continually bringing together private, public and nonprofit stakeholders to address critical social issues.” As Executive Director of Charities Housing, Chris Block most recently partnered with Full Circle Fund to form a high-profile Blue Ribbon Commission, which aims to resolve the issues of homelessness and the lack of affordable housing in Santa Clara County.

    4. Paseo Senter receives “Affordable Housing Development of the Year” Award from SVBJ

      October 2007
      Charities Housing was awarded the “Affordable Housing Development of the Year” by Silicon Valley Business Journal at the Structures 2007 Awards on October 11, 2007. The dinner event was held at the Marriott Hotel in downtown San Jose. The Structures Awards honors those in the building industry, including architects, brokers and developers.

      Click here to see the article: http://sanjose.bizjournals.com/sanjose/afterhours/1582.html

    5. San Antonio Place Chosen as Semi-Finalist for Terner Prize

      Charities Housing is proud that San Antonio Place was as a semi-finalist for the Terner Prize and shares this excerpt from the Award Letter:

      Congratulations! We are pleased to inform you that your team was one of fourteen semi-finalists for the Terner Prize. You did not make it to the top six finalists, however. The status of semi-finalist was quite an accomplishment because the jury received 82 submissions from all over the country.  Our fine jury is comprised of David Baker of David Baker Architects in San Francisco, Elinor Bacon in DC, J. Michael Pitchford, President & CEO, Community Preservation & Development Corporation in DC, Greg Maher of Local Initiatives Support Corporation in New York, John King with the San Francisco Chronicle and Geoffrey Wooding of Goody Clancy in Boston.  They spent many hours reviewing the submissions.

      The jurors and staff where amazed and touched by the high quality of submissions and all the level of work that is being done throughout the country, urban to rural, homeless to mixed income, rehab to new construction with a host of services for residents and wide spread impact on surrounding communities. Your team joins this list of the eight semi-finalists:

      Charities Housing Development Corporation; Mountain View, CA
      Charlotte- Mecklenburg Housing Partnership, Inc.; Charlotte, NC
      The Doe Fund, Inc.; Brooklyn, NY
      Durkee, Brown, Viveiros & Warenfels Architects; Providence, RI
      Harley Ellis Devereaux; Chicago, IL
      McCormack Bacon Salzar, Inc.; St. Louis, MO
      New Hope Housing; Houston, TX
      Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation; San Francisco, CA

      The Jury is conducting site visits this month and will select the Prize winner during deliberations in December.  We have decided to schedule the Prize luncheon on January 31,2007 Washington DC prior to the Urban Land Institute Trustees and Leadership meeting. We also have decided to organize a symposium that morning so that we can take advantage of a gathering of leaders in the affordable housing field to share best practices.  We hope you are able to join us in Washington for the Symposium.

      Thank you for your submission and again, congratulations on becoming a semi-finalist!

    6. San Antonio Place receives Best Affordable Housing Award

      In May 2007, Charities Housing was awarded “Best Affordable Housing- 30 DU/Acre or Less” for San Antonio Place. The award was presented at the “Gold Nugget Awards” 2007 Ceremony by the Western Building Industry.

      Click here to read about the award

    7. San Antonio Place Receives the Best In American Living Award

      Charities Housing is proud that San Antonio Place was selected for this prestigious award and shares this excerpt from the Award Letter:

      On behalf of Professional Builder magazine and NAHB Design Committee, we would like to congratulate you on being a winner in the 2006 Best In American Living Award competition. Your project – San Antonio Place – was selected by the panel of judges.

      The award ceremony will take place at SeaWorld’s “Ports of Call” on Tuesday, February 6th from 7:00pm to 11:00pm. SeaWorld in approximate 1.5 miles from Orange County Convention Center. We will have an open bar and appetizers. Tickets will be available for $125 through Professional Builder magazine.

      Professional Builder will be featuring all winners in the February issue. In addition, your winning project will be featured on our web site www.ProBuilder.com/bala for one year.

      Congratulations on your winning project. We look forward to seeing you at the award ceremony in February.

  10. 2006

    1. Charities Housing completes construction of San Antonio Place in Mountain View

      This project is a testimony to the City’s commitment to affordable housing. The project is the collaborative result between the City Council, the community at-large, and Charities Housing. The 120 affordable studio apartments will provide a home for those who do not make enough to afford the high rents in Silicon Valley, seniors and other Mountain View residents who are living on a fixed income.

      Click here to see the 4/21/06 Mountain View Voice article on San Antonio Place

    2. Cities receive high grades for housing solutions

      Los Altos Town Crier, July 26, 2006
      Affordable havens hidden in the state’s highest housing markets…

      Click here to see full article

    3. Gaining Ground on Affordable Housing

      San Jose Mercury Newes, July 24, 2006
      When voters passed a statewide affordable-housing bond in 2002, the ground rules made it appear that lower-income areas might more easily qualify for grants…

      Click here to see full article

    4. San Antonio Place Named Project of the Year

      Mountain View Voice, October 13, 2006
      San Antonio Place, the only recent affordable studios project in Mountain View, was last week given the title “Project of the Year” by Multi-Family Executive, a national publication targeted at senior-level executives who deal with multifamily housing units.

      Designed by Kodama Deseno Architects, San Antonio Place was selected based on such criteria as architectural innovation, floor plan, suitability to target market, creativity with materials, interior design, landscaping, creative financing, and ability to work with officials in government and community. The project was praised for its affordability, comfort and luxuries, despite the small size of its rental units. Click here to read award article from Multi Family Executive magazine November 2006 issue…

    5. San Antonio Place receives Mayor’s Award for Architecure

      Mountain View Voice, November 24, 2006
      AWARDS… Physical Project Winners… San Antonio Place received the Outstanding Architectural Design award. The 120-unit development offers affordable housing for people earning 15 to 45 percent of the county’s median income. Budgetary and design challenges were overcome to provide a building praised by the panel.

      Click here to read about the Mayor’s Award…
      Click here for details about San Antonio Place…

    6. Unfair Shake in Housing Report

      Mountain View Voice, July 28, 2006
      Last April saw the grand opening of San Antonio Place, a handsome 118-unit building of “efficiency studios” designed to provide affordable housing for those most in need of it. That’s only a taste of what’s to come. According to planning department estimates, Mountain View will build about 3,000 new housing units in the near future, with most of them adhering to smart-growth philosophies, such as locating the housing close to other neighborhoods, businesses and mass transit.

      But don’t tell that to the Bay Area Council, a business-friendly group which last week released a report claiming that Mountain View deserved an “F” for its work in providing housing…

      Click here to see full article

  11. 2005

    1. Charities Housing awarded MHP funding for Paseo Senter I & II

      In May 2005, Charities Housing was informed that it has been approved for funding for two projects from the Multi-family Housing Project (MHP). These are for Paseo Senter Phase Phase II and I. MHP is a program of the State of California, providing deferred payment loans to assist the new construction, rehabilitation and preservation of permanent and transitional rental housing for lower income households.

      Click here to see 2/22/06 Mercury News article on Paseo Senter

      Click here for more information on MHP…

    2. Charities Housing receives national housing prize

      Charities Housing was one of 8 winners of the inaugural 2005 John M. Clancy awards in 2005. Homesafe San Jose was chosen from 56 projects submitted by architects and organizations from 20 states.

      “The intent of the John Clancy Award for Socially Responsible Housing is to recognize and encourage excellence in the planning, design, construction and maintenance of socially responsible urban housing by honoring an organization, a group, or an individual who has been a major force behind one or more built housing developments characterized by excellence in planning, design and construction…

      Jurors lauded the cost-effective, unified design, citing the quality of the site plan, the straightforward building geometries, and the expressive but simple architectural vocabulary of pitched-roof forms rendered in stucco and accented appropriately with color. ”

      Click here for more information…

    3. Charities Housing recognized in national affordable housing book


      Stoney Pine Villa, a Charities Housing development, is one of 18 showcase affordable housing projects featured in a new publication “Affordable Housing – designing an American Asset”, published by the Urban Land Institute and the National Building Museum. To purchase a copy click on the image.

  12. 2004

    1. Affordable by Design

      Silicon Valley Biz Ink, May 14th, 2004
      The term “affordable housing” often conjures up images of stark, bleak, tenement-style dwellings. But today’s affordable housing projects in the Bay Area, although spartan by definition, hardly cut corners on style and functionality…

      Click here to see full article…

    2. Affordable Housing to Move Ahead

      Palo Alto Daily News, Sept 4, 2004
      The final phase of a 10-year effort to bring more affordable housing to Mountain View will begin at next Wednesday’s groundbreaking ceremony for new apartments…

      Click here to download PDF (1,700K)…

    3. Affordable Housing: Designing an American Asset

      National Building Museum/Wahington, DC, June, 2004
      There seems to be an absence of good design when looking at the soulless, low-income housing blocks littered across America. This show features 18 projects-from a sustainable complex in Santa Monica, California, to a home for people with AIDS in Albany, New York-that prove aesthetics are possible at any price.

      Click here to link to National Building Museum site…

    4. Biz Briefs – Affordable Housing

      Silicon Valley buxiness Ink, Sept 3, 2004
      Charities Housing Development Corp., a San Jose-based, nonprofit housing developer, will break ground on its San Antonio Place studio apartment complex on Sept. 8. The 120 single-occupancy apartments, to be built at San Antonio Place and San Antonio Circle, will rent for $252 to $700 per month, depending on the tenant’s income. Construction is estimated to take 14 months, according to Adriana Garefalos, senior planner for the City of Mountain View. Prospective tenants must earn an annual income of less than $33,435 to qualify.

    5. HomeSafe San Jose Design Award

      AIASD Design Awards, June 2004
      Click here to link to AIASD site…

    6. Merit Award Homesafe, San Jose, Calif. Studio E Architects

      Residential Architect Design Awards, May 2004
      The judges called HomeSafe “a friendly, welcoming place”–exactly the type of reaction Studio E Architects hoped to evoke. “The goal from the outset was to make it feel uplifting,” says principal John Sheehan. The 25-unit co-housing project serves as a transitional residence for battered women and children, a place for them to regroup and stabilize their lives before moving on to a more permanent situation.

      Click here to see full article…

  13. Before 2004

    1. Catholic Charities Establishes Charities Housing

      Catholic Charities Establishes Charities Housing

    2. Pensione Esperanza SRO Hotel Wins Residential Architect Design Awards

      Low-income tenants deserve dignity and a sense of play, and this model of design does just that…and a lot more. Thanks to colored stucco and steel that create discrete volumes. Wide aisles and hallways that are bathed in sunlight. And a skewed corner elevation that takes its cue from the plan and adds drama to the street. “It’s a quirky site plan and does a lot with a limited budget,” quotes one judge.