May 31, 2018

Mesa Verde Apartments Provide 89 Affordable Rental Homes For Families With Low Income

San Diego Housing Commission partnership development will remain affordable for 55 years

SAN DIEGO, CA —Ahmad, who works as a delivery and rideshare driver, his wife, Tamana, and their two young boys make up one of the 89 households that now have a rental apartment they can afford because of the opening of Mesa Verde Apartments, a San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) partnership development located in the Navajo Community north of Interstate 8.

 “The rent is very high in San Diego for people that their income is not that good, so it’s really hard for me, that I have two kids and I need to support them. This is the only way we can live, with an affordable housing program,” said Ahmad, who now lives closer to Grossmont College, where he is studying business and, with his family, is celebrating their first month in their newly constructed two-bedroom apartment.

The grand opening of Mesa Verde Apartments, developed by Chelsea Investment Corporation in partnership with SDHC, was celebrated today with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the newly constructed development at 7785 Mission Gorge Road, on the former site of an underused strip mall.

“This is the type of housing we need more in San Diego,” San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer said. “This is about providing housing opportunities for San Diegans, for working families, to find that home, to find that apartment that they can afford. This is why we’re going to great lengths to increase our housing, reduce costs and promote smart growth and revitalization.”

All of the apartments at Mesa Verde are occupied, and more than 2,500 households are on the interest list, demonstrating the need for additional affordable housing.

 “It’s finally gotten to a point where we are realizing housing and the lack of housing is of dire importance to this city. I want my kids and my grandkids to be able to afford to live here and enjoy the things I enjoyed being a San Diegan growing up,” said Councilmember Scott Sherman, who represents Council District 7, where Mesa Verde is located.

The 89 affordable apartments at Mesa Verde are affordable for households earning up to 60 percent of San Diego’s Area Median Income, currently $58,380 a year for a four-person household.

“This is obviously great news for low-income families in San Diego. I can’t remember a time when the need has been as great as it is today,” said SDHC Chairman of the Board Frank Urtasun, who was joined at the ceremony by SDHC Board Vice Chair Dorothy Surdi and Commissioner Stefanie Benvenuto. “Look at the beautiful project that we have here now, and it’s going to remain like this—affordable—for the next 55 years, and that’s critically important.”

SDHC invested a $9.6 million loan toward the construction of Mesa Verde, which consists of:

  • $2 million in Federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program funds, awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to the City of San Diego and administered by SDHC;
  • $7.1 million in City Inclusionary Housing Funds, which SDHC administers; and
  • $500,000 from the City’s Housing Trust Fund, also administered by SDHC.

SDHC also authorized the issuance of $22,378,000 in tax-exempt Multifamily Housing Revenue Bonds toward the development of Mesa Verde. These bonds were approved by the San Diego City Council, sitting as the Housing Authority of the City of San Diego.

The estimated total development cost is $33,972,534. Chelsea Investment Corporation achieved cost savings of $225,000 on the Mesa Verde development and presented a ceremonial check in that amount to SDHC at the grand opening ceremony.

James J. Schmid, Founder/CEO of Chelsea Investment Corporation, said transforming the former retail site into affordable housing is a new model for the City of San Diego.

“This site was previously a kind of over-the-hill retail center. You know, our retail habits have changed a lot, and so old retail centers that were once a benefit to the community no longer offer as much, and so replacement and redevelopment of those sites is a great opportunity for us,” Schmid said.

The development also replaced a cell phone antenna, which now blends into the development, which had broad community support, including from the Navajo Community Planning Group.

Mesa Verde is located near public parks, open space, and trails – including Mission Trails Regional Park – as well as employment opportunities, schools and medical facilities.

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Media Contact:
Scott Marshall
Vice President of Communications
San Diego Housing Commission

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