BOS ROUNDUPNov. 22, 2011 | The dank, often seedy rooms of the Islander Motel in Alameda will soon become a 61-studio housing project aimed at low-income occupants with a portion of the units set aside for people with HIV/AIDS. The project was approved Tuesday by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors.

The renovation of the unadorned and drab apartment building just blocks off Alameda’s Park Street commercial and recreation district is part of the city’s continuing effort to attract patrons and residents to the popular area. A new facade will be constructed along with a community room, laundry facility and open space, according to the plan.

Green building features will also be incorporated into the new design, said the county, including solar thermal heating for hot water and radiant hydronic heating.

The board allocated funding of over $1.2 million to begin the project. The bulk coming from federal dollars, including $685,000 from the Housing and Urban Development’s HOME Investment Partnership Act and over $556,000 from Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA).

The county procured low-income tax credits last July. According to a staff report, the county is awaiting the closing of a construction loan for the project in December before beginning construction.

As part of the federal grant agreement, the refurbished Islander Motel will be occupied by households at or below 50 percent of the Area Median Income level. Half of the current AMI in Alameda County is just under $48,000 in household income, according to Fannie Mae.

Fifteen of the 61 units will be regulated by HOME and HOPWA, according to the county. Nine of those set aside for persons with HIV/AIDS and six for very low-income, according to the agreement.