ST. HELENA, CA - On Wednesday, September 12, David Garden was honored by EAH Housing, Napa Valley Community Housing and elected officials from the House of Representatives, California State Assembly, Napa County and the City of St. Helena for his contributions to Stonebridge Apartments and City of St. Helena. Stonebridge residents, affordable housing advocates, business leaders and elected officials gathered for the dedication of the David Garden Community Room. Garden received certificates of recognition from the offices of Congressman Mike Thompson, California State Assemblyman Michael Allen and Napa County Supervisor Diane Dillon.
"David has made many valuable contributions to bring affordable housing, the arts, and higher education to the St. Helena community, for which we are deeply grateful. We are thankful David calls St. Helena his home," said Napa County Supervisor Diane Dillon.
In 1988, Garden learned that St. Helena needed quality affordable housing, he offered his land to the St. Helena community for a chance to develop on it. Garden began work with local building contractor Ed Forde and Executive Director of Napa Valley Ecumenical Housing (NVEH) Bill McCune to discuss development of affordable housing property in St. Helena.
"I get a lot out of seeing progress," said Garden. "My commitment to affordable housing started with my desire to participate in society and to do something that would last."
In the fall of 1989 to advance Garden's vision, the nonprofit Stonebridge Housing Corporation was formally organized to commence preliminary planning of Stonebridge Apartments.
"The road to building a healthy community starts with a strong foundation. David laid the groundwork and his drive framed the structure of the Stonebridge Apartments," said Leo Ainsworth, President of the Stonebridge Housing Corporation Board of Directors.
During this time NVEH was renamed to Napa Valley Family Homes (NVFH). The company assisted in Garden's vision and NVFH recommended a highly experienced nonprofit to co-develop Stonebridge Apartments. Known for developing affordable housing in one of the toughest housing markets in California, Marin County, EAH Housing had the track record of bringing affordable workforce and senior housing to challenging development areas.
EAH provided the financial strength and corporate guarantees that lenders and investors relied upon. Architectural firm Hooper, Olmsted & Hrovat was selected to design Stonebridge Apartments. The companies arrived at a design to develop 80 affordable apartments within the construction budget.
The property was completed in two phases, phase one in September and phase two in October 1993. Nestled within the Wine Country, Stonebridge Apartments is home to close to three hundred residents including children, seniors and persons with disabilities. Were it not for Garden and his clear vision of developing affordable apartments for working families, hundreds of men, woman and children would be forced to face the high cost of housing within the heart of Napa County.
"You don't need to be in government or wealthy to make a big difference. By naming the Community Room in David's honor, we remind everyone that it takes action to help others," said EAH Housing CEO and President Mary Murtagh.
EAH Housing is one of the oldest and most respected nonprofit developers/managers in the western United States. With properties in 49 municipalities in California and Hawaii, EAH has developed over 6,400 homes and manages 97 properties, serving over 20,000 families, seniors, students and persons with disabilities.