As the federal funds rate has risen dramatically over the last year-and-a-half, the single-family housing market has experienced a significant slowdown. The rising cost of debt has priced many would-be buyers out of the market, forcing them to either wait until interest rates cool off or explore other living options.

The result of these trends has been increasing renter demand for apartment units, particularly in markets where housing prices have remained high. The call for multifamily communities has driven development for market-rate housing while highlighting the acute need for affordable housing in these markets, according to Kasey Burke, President of Meta Housing.

“Elevated home prices and interest rates have created the ideal opportunity for investors to develop apartment communities that cater to lower- and middle-income households,” says Burke. “In this economic environment, developers like Meta Housing are partnering with local and state agencies to complete affordable and workforce housing projects and make them available to qualifying California residents.”

Meta Housing has completed numerous affordable housing projects in markets with a high barrier to entry. This year, the firm broke ground on Blue Oak Square, a seven-story community in Concord, California, that provides 181 apartment homes for individuals and family households earning between 30% and 70% of the area median income.

“We are partnering with several public and private entities to deliver Blue Oak Square to the Concord community,” says Burke. “These collaborations are essential to providing homes that are within reach to those who need it most in some of the least affordable markets in the country.”

In the development of Blue Oak Square, Meta Housing partnered with a host of developers, organizations, and financial institutions including Foundation for Affordable Housing, KTGY, AMJ Construction Management, Inc., Concore Development Group, Inc., Westport, Inc., Embrace Foundation, California Municipal Financial Authority, Pacific Western Bank, Boston Financial, Monarch, and Pacific Western Bank.

Blue Oak Square, which replaces a former Blockbuster store, will offer a mix of one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom units, as well as supportive services. The property features a variety of in-demand common amenities such as a community room, security camera system, on-site vehicle parking, short- and long-term bicycle parking, and an outdoor open courtyard with a pool and recreational space, notes Burke.

“We are excited to be bringing to Concord an affordable apartment community that is helping to meet the increased demand for attainable rental units,” says Burke. “The property, which is being redeveloped to incorporate sustainable design principles, rivals comparable market-rate communities in the area with its contemporary architecture reflecting Early California style. Together with our partners, we are delivering an attractive and budget-friendly option for people in this market.”