This new neighborhood, situated on seven-and-a-half acres in the southern end of Oakland, has a range of affordable housing, green pathways, pocket parks, and open spaces.
The development has achieved one of the first LEED ND Certified Gold Plans.
All buildings are certified at the highest level of green standard—LEED for Homes Platinum—incorporating a wide range of complementary green strategies including solar power for on-site generation of electricity and hot water.
"This project works on every level, creating a haven for its occupants without forgetting to engage its communities. The team preserved embodied energy by artfully repurposing an existing building. Variety and articulation of different building and unit types are expressed both on the exterior facing the street, as well as the interiors facing the public gathering areas. It admirably achieves every one of the goals the team set out to meet."
—2011 AIA Housing Awards jury
There are two townhouse strategies at Tassafaronga: the normal row-house version, and "pinwheel" fourplexes. These units have no exposed backs, just two adjacent fronts, and have up to 4 bedrooms. All the Oakland Housing Authority townhomes additionally have washer-dryer closets.
A three-story apartment building features affordable rental units in multiple configurations. Apartments flank a hidden parking structure, setting a residential rather than industrial tone, and also enclose a second-level open-air courtyard. The front of the building is topped with a rolling green roof.
Tassafaronga is anchored by a large public plaza known as the Village Square. Each of the three new areas of housing also has a semi-private shared space, creating sheltered play and gathering areas for children and residents.
Twenty-two family townhomes are going up in cooperation with the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity. The recipient families of these homes personally participate in the construction of the buildings, with 500 hours of sweat-equity labor, which they are then able to purchase with an extremely low-interest mortgage.
Kelly Carlisle is the founder the Tassafaronga Youth Urban Farm. She founded the non-profit Acta Non Verba, deeds not words, after serving in the military. The school kids who learn how to grow food have a farm stand three days a week. The money they earn is deposited in bank acounts for their future education. More information at www.anvfarm.org.