JingleTown Homes, Oakland

It's not surprising that JingleTown Homes received the State Housing Director's Award for Housing Development Excellence. This exciting new project, which was initiated by community residents, is located in the City of Oakland nestled between the historic Del Monte cannery and a former cotton mill.

JingleTown Homes
Photo reproduced with the permission of Michael Pyatek,
FAIA, Pyatek Architects, Inc., 1629 Telegraph Avenue,
Third Floor, Oakland, California 94612.

It all started in 1989, when the community began to clean up a five acre lot which at the time was filled with junk cars. Once the lot was cleaned up they began a year long effort to overcome opposition and rezone the lot from industrial to residential.

JingleTown was designed for the specific needs of first-time homebuyers in this established neighborhood of 250 families. The project's design resulted from a series of workshops conducted by Pyatok Associates, the project architect, involving the Oakland Community Housing, Inc. (OCHI), Mary Help of Christian Church, Oakland Community Organizations and residents of the community.

The 53-unit new development has two and three bedroom homes with prices ranging from $98,000 to $129,000. Thirty-four units are expandable such that additional bedrooms, baths and space for home offices can be added. This feature allows extended families to live together and expands opportunities for added income.

Public financing for JingleTown was provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), City of Oakland's Redevelopment Agency, and the City of Oakland's Community and Economic Development Agency, which in turn attracted private funding from Federal Home Loan Bank, Wells Fargo Bank and Cal Fed Bank.

Oakland's JingleTown was one of six new successful affordable housing projects that received the State Award. The award recipients were selected based upon the level of RDA participation, the number of units assisted, community problems or needs addressed and the described overall success of the projects or programs.

This award also highlights the important role of redevelopment agencies in addressing California's housing problems.

JingleTown was selected by HUD and the National Partners in Homeownership as one of the 14 national models in the "Building Innovation in Homeownership" Program. The Program seeks to recognize and assist developers whose innovative construction techniques can lower the cost of home-building. JingleTown also received the 1997 Pacific Coast Builder's Gold Nugget Award for Best Affordable Attached Community.