Words by Smiley Team
What if you could have all the benefits of country living, without the hassles of chores and long commutes to urban centers?
In San Francisco's Santa Clara area, a new mixed-income apartment complex called 'Agrihood' has sprung up with its own 1.5-acre farm. It's run by a urban farming social enterprise that invites the help of its inhabitants as well. It calls itself a 'sustainable community'.
The Agrihood housing complex was the result of a mission to bring an affordable housing community to the area. "Our goal throughout this endeavor has been to provide the affordable housing that we urgently need in Santa Clara through a truly creative, community-driven process," they say.
Among the 361 units in the Agrihood building, 181 are designated for low- and moderate-income tenants, and 165 are designated for low-income seniors and veterans. A 1.5-acre organic farm in the center of the development can produce 20,000 pounds of food annually and is home to 30 townhomes. Residents can buy the produce at a steep discount each week because it is delivered to an on-site location.
According to Vince Cantore, vice-president of Core Companies, the company leading Agrihood: "Not only are we providing a really unique living experience for the residents that live on the property, but we're also taking a very deliberate approach to encouraging the health and wellness of our residents by incorporating the farm into their daily and weekly lifestyles," he said.
The development is also unique in that it is planned to be a mix of generations and incomes rather than just senior housing or inexpensive housing. Most errands may be accomplished on foot because to the abundance of nearby retail establishments.
It's vital for the Bay Area, where an estimated 160,000 affordable housing units are in short supply, to get new homes. In order for Cantore to be satisfied, he wants to see the process repeated.
"A project like this will go a long way toward meeting the requirements of elders and veterans," he says. The housing demands of the elderly on fixed incomes are so great that no single project will be able to meet them all.
There has been an increase in the number of cities, parks and communities that are including urban farming and gardening into their development plans.
In urban locations, food security, reducing food transportation's carbon footprint, and increasing access to healthful food for low-income residents in food deserts are all benefits of urban food systems.
GET INVOLVED: To learn how you can bring Agrihood buildings to your community, be sure to following their website and take the next steps to sustainable custom living.
DONATE: If you wat to support other urban farms across the country, donate to Grow Good.