Enterprise, Eden Housing and Cal State East Bay Find Home for 85-Year Old Homeless Grad Ida Cotton

Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. (Enterprise), Eden Housing and California State University, East Bay have partnered to provide 85-year-old Cal State East Bay master’s degree recipient Ida Cotton with an affordable place to call home — The Altenheim, a 174-unit affordable senior housing apartment complex in Oakland, California. Ms. Cotton, who earned the graduate degree in June, lives on a fixed income. She did not have a home upon leaving the University and was in danger of becoming homeless if forced to leave the university’s student apartment complex upon completion of her studies.

"Enterprise found out about Ida’s story through a segment on a national news broadcast that Cal State East Bay secured on her behalf as a call for help," said Rich Gross, Vice President and Northern California Impact Market Leader, Enterprise. "Enterprise has helped to finance senior affordable housing for decades, so when we saw the story we thought we might be able to help place Ida with our partner Eden Housing and reached out to Cal State."


Cal State East Bay went out of its way to allow Ida to stay in campus housing over the summer following her graduation until she found permanent housing.  Ida and seniors like her are a fast growing population across the country. 

"My only income is Social Security," said Ms. Cotton. "It would have been very difficult to live and pay rent on my fixed income. I am thankful to Enterprise, Eden Housing, Cal State East Bay, the Senior Moments organization of San Leandro, the San Leandro Lions Club and all of my friends who have helped me through this period. I look forward to my future and my new home at The Altenheim!"

The Altenheim is an affordable rental apartment community for low-income seniors in Oakland’s Dimond/Glenview district. It is owned and managed by Eden Housing. The property features, among other amenities for residents, a six-acre landscaped campus with community gardens, onsite services and activities, and energy-efficient appliances and lighting.


"Ida’s story is a great example of the importance of and critical need for affordable housing, especially for seniors living on fixed incomes," said Linda Mandolini, Executive Director, Eden Housing. "We were thrilled that Enterprise reached out to us and that were able to provide Ida with a high-quality, affordable home close to public transportation and services. We also want to thank the Oakland Housing Authority for assisting with this process."