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Hismen Hin-Nu Terrace

Hismen Hin-Nu Terrace is the culmination of years of effort by community groups, non-profit developers, individuals, and the City of Oakland, California. In 1989, the design architect for this project identified an abandoned supermarket site at 25th Avenue as one of a number of underutilized or vacant sites along East 14th Street in the racially diverse neighborhoods of East Oakland. He supervised a graduate design studio at the local school of architecture to study development scenarios for housing on the site. These proposals were presented to a group of non-profit developers and City Officials. Shortly thereafter, the San Antonio Community Development Council, which serves African-, Latino-, and Native-American residents, expressed an interest in developing affordable housing for families and seniors on the site. They teamed up with the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation, which serves the Asian-American community. With financial aid from the City of Oakland, they purchased the 1.6 acre site at auction in 1990. The $10.5 million project began construction in August of 1993 and was completed in February 1995. Community development block grant (CDBG) funding contributed to the development of this project.

In addition to Hismen Hin-nu Terrace's family housing with a childcare center, a market-hall for 50 small vendors, niches for street vendors located along the building's front facing the main boulevard, and a community center with job training contribute to the economic development of the neighborhood. The family housing is divided into three courtyards, with the central ground level court serving the community center and childcare program, and the other two courts located above the parking garages serving the larger family units. The smaller units are in the elevator served building facing the main street.

Source: Design Matters: Best Practices in Affordable Housing, City Design Center at the University of Chicago.