University Neighborhood Apartments

location:Berkeley, CA
owner:Affordable Housing Associates
completion:2005

University Neighborhood Apartments (UNA) is the first inclusive, affordable, universally designed residential units in the nation. They are a truly integrated housing community, with fully accessible living spaces and common areas for all residents. The University Neighborhood Apartments consist of 27 units, with retail space on the ground floor. All units reflect the principles of universal design, which make environments usable by as many people as possible, regardless of age or ability. The project’s universal design features include one-story living, wide doorways and hallways, low countertops and cabinets, stoves with buttons on the front, roll-in showers, and extra floor space to allow for a large turning radius.

The apartments opened in 2005, and that same year, the project received the “Innovative Venture Award” from Enterprise Social Investment Corporation. The award recognized the project’s combination of universal design, affordable housing, and cutting-edge architectural approach.

Awards + Publications

Affordable Housing Finance, Volume 12, No. 3 “Pioneering ‘Universal Design’ project gets under way.”, University Neighborhood Apartments. Berkeley, CA.

Multi-Housing News, August issue, p. 13, “Universally Designed AH Opens in Berkeley,” University Neighborhood Apartments. Berkeley, CA

AIArchitect This Week, August 1, Project Watch,“Unique Partnership Produces Nation’s First Affordable, Universal-Design Apartment Complex”, University Neighborhood Apartments. Berkeley, CA

Access by Design, Winter issue, #105, p. 14–17, “University Neighborhood Apartments–A Case Study from the USA”, University Neighborhood Apartments. Berkeley, CA

Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Awards Special Needs Housing, Honorable Mention, University Neighborhood Apartments, Berkeley, CA