Nueva Vista Family Housing | Santa Cruz, CA

Sustainable Design on a Limited Budget


Nueva Vista Family Housing is an example of how a dedicated affordable housing developer can incorporate sustainable design and green building into a project while working within a limited budget. The 48- unit urban infill project located on a 1.3 acre site adjacent to the famed Santa Cruz Boardwalk reduces car trips by including a child care facility and city community center on site, improves the health of residents by using a variety of non-toxic finishes and lowers operating costs by incorporating solar electricity and other energy efficient measures. The project includes a small pocket park that serves as the community focus for this urban neighborhood. The housing is arranged around a secure courtyard with tuck-under parking at each side.


To create a sustainable mixed-use development that will become a focus for the community.


Provide a safe and secure home for 48 families, a community center and childcare facility using green building technology within a limited budget.

Green Features

  • Photovoltaics power house electrical system
  • Individual gas and electric meters for all units
  • Apollo type heaters from individual hot water heaters
  • No cooling
  • Fully ducted cooking
  • Energy Star Rated Appliances, all fluorescent lighting
  • Beat CA Title 24 requirements by 15%
  • Low E hard coat dual glazing
  • Certified Wood
  • Low water use landscaping

Design Features

  • Community center and daycare center face pocket park
  • Courtyard provides secure play area for residents


  • San Jose Business Times, Best Affordable Housing Development, 2004

Project Information

  • Client: Mercy Housing California
  • Building size/acres: 48 units/1.3 acres
  • Density: 37 du/ac
  • Completion: 2003

Van Meter Williams Pollack LLP