February 26, 2019

‘HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO’ Homelessness Action Plan Receives National Award for Outstanding Achievement in Affordable Housing

SAN DIEGO, CA – The San Diego Housing Commission’s (SDHC) homelessness action plan, HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO, has received the national 2018 NMA Development Award for creating permanent supportive housing, which is affordable rental housing with supportive services for San Diegans experiencing homelessness.

The award, which recognizes outstanding achievement in affordable housing, was announced on February 25 at The Housing Conference, an educational event for housing professionals, presented by Nan McKay and Associates, Inc.


“Through HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO, the San Diego Housing Commission is partnering with developers and acquiring properties to create permanent supportive housing that is essential to addressing homelessness in the City of San Diego. I thank Mayor Kevin Faulconer and the City Council for their support of this action plan, as well as my fellow Board members, Housing Commission President & CEO Rick Gentry, staff and our partners for their outstanding work, which this award reflects,” SDHC Chair of the Board Stefanie Benvenuto said.

The current phase of HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO, which launched on July 1, 2017, directs up to $50 million over three fiscal years (2018 – 2020) toward the creation of approximately 500 units of permanent supportive housing:

  • Up to $30 million in development funds will be awarded to developers to create at least 300 new affordable permanent supportive housing units; and
  • Up to $20 million in Federal Moving to Work and local funds will be invested to acquire Single-Room Occupancy (SRO) or similar property types for the creation of at least 200 additional affordable permanent supportive housing units.

In the first year, SDHC reached nearly half of the three-year goal, with 230 units pending completion:

  • SDHC awarded approximately $4 million toward the construction of two new partnership developments that will create 93 permanent supportive housing units for San Diegans experiencing homelessness:
    • The Beacon Apartments – $3.2 million awarded toward the development of 43 permanent supportive housing units, with expected completion in Summer 2019; and
    • San Ysidro Senior Village Apartments – $800,000 awarded toward the development of 50 permanent supportive housing units for seniors who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness, with expected completion in December 2019.
  • SDHC also invested $15.19 million to acquire Quality Inn (91 affordable units) and West Park Inn (46 affordable units), to create 137 permanent supportive housing units for San Diegans experiencing homelessness.

In addition, on September 4, 2018, SDHC announced up to $20 million through a Notice of Funding Availability to support the development of additional permanent supportive housing through HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO. To date, SDHC has awarded $7.2 million of these funds to two developments to create 125 permanent supportive housing units – Trinity Apartments (73 units) and Ivy Senior Apartments (52 units).

The current phase of HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO builds upon the accomplishments of the first three years of SDHCs’ homelessness action plan (2014 – 2017), which supported the creation of close to 500 permanent supportive housing units through development partnerships and SDHC acquisitions:

  • SDHC awarded $26.7 million toward the development of 382 permanent supportive housing units at seven developments.Five developments with 261 units are pending completion. Two developments with 121 units have celebrated their grand openings:
    • Cypress Apartments: 62 permanent supportive housing units for chronically homeless San Diegans and individuals with disabilities who experienced homelessness; and
    • Talmadge Gateway: 59 permanent supportive housing units for seniors age 55 and older who experienced homelessness.
  • SDHC rehabilitated the historic Hotel Churchill in downtown San Diego to create 72 units of permanent supportive housing for individuals experiencing homelessness, predominantly veterans.
  • SDHC purchased the 120-unit Village North Senior Garden Apartments in Clairement Mesa, setting aside 44 units for seniors who experienced homelessness.

The creation of new permanent supportive housing is one of the many programs of HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO. Overall, SDHC’s homelessness action plan has created close to 6,000 housing opportunities in less than five years for San Diegans experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness.

  • The current phase of HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO created 3,051 housing opportunities through December 31, 2018, reaching its three-year goal in just 18 months.
  • Programs in the first three years of HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO (2014 – 2017) created more than 2,900 housing opportunities.




Media Contact: 

Scott Marshall

Vice President of Communications



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