January 21, 2020
Construction of More Than 400 Affordable Apartments Provides ‘Hope’ for San Diegans with Low Income or Experiencing Homelessness
San Diego Housing Commission partnership development will remain affordable for 55 years
SAN DIEGO, CA – The pending construction of more than 400 affordable rental apartments—including 270 units specifically to address homelessness—was celebrated at a groundbreaking ceremony today as a source of hope for the community and the individuals and families who will call the new development home.
“There are two ways we can look at the challenge of the unsheltered. We can have a fear-based culture where we fear it, or we can be inspired by the hope of what is possible with a little bit of support—and that really is what this project is about,” said San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, who also serves on the Governor’s Council of Regional Homeless Advisors and as Vice Chair of the San Diego Regional Task Force on the Homeless.
A collaboration among the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC), Father Joe’s Villages, Chelsea Investment Corporation and additional partners, the development will be known as Saint Teresa of Calcutta Villa in honor of Mother Teresa. It will include a mix of studio, one-, and two-bedroom apartments that will remain affordable for 55 years for San Diegans with low income or experiencing homelessness.
“This is going to be a beacon of hope for so many individuals,” San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer said. “This is going to be a game-changer on the streets of our downtown and the entire city. It doesn’t happen without everybody coming together.”
In addition to providing affordable rental homes with supportive services, Saint Teresa of Calcutta Villa is an example of a development that is a valuable addition to its surrounding community.
“It’s an understatement to say that today, we need more of these developments to break ground, but we will. We will have projects like this that provide a mix of affordable housing, permanent supportive housing, on-site services and will enhance the neighborhood,” said San Diego City Councilmember Chris Ward, the Chair of the San Diego Regional Task Force on the Homeless, whose Council district includes the site of the new development at 14th and Commercial Streets.
SDHC is supporting the development through HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO, SDHC’s homelessness action plan, which launched on November 12, 2014.
“In the five years since HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO launched, this plan has created more than 8,500 housing opportunities for individuals and families experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness,” said SDHC Chair of the Board Stefanie Benvenuto.
Through HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO, SDHC awarded $11.5 million in loans and awarded 270 federal rental housing vouchers to the development of Saint Teresa of Calcutta Villa.
SDHC’s loans consist of:
- $9 million from the City of San Diego Affordable Housing Fund, which SDHC administers; and
- $2.5 million in HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) funds the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awards to the City of San Diego and SDHC administers.
SDHC additionally authorized the issuance of up to $123 million in Multifamily Housing Revenue Bonds, which the City Council approved in its role as the Housing Authority of the City of San Diego. SDHC, the City of San Diego and the Housing Authority of the City of San Diego are not financially liable for the bonds. Private sources of funds, such as revenue from the development, are used to repay the bonds.
Additional financing partners include Citi Community Capital, the State of California and County of San Diego.
“As you have heard from the many statements of gratitude made today, Saint Teresa of Calcutta Villa is the sum of many, many small acts of love. It demonstrates the substantial impact we can have when the compassion of hundreds of people come together to build a brighter future,” said Deacon Jim Vargas, President & CEO of Father Joe’s Villages.
Father Joe’s Villages is developing Saint Teresa of Calcutta Villa in partnership with Chelsea Investment Corporation as part of Father Joe’s Villages’ “Turning the Key” initiative to add 2,000 units of affordable housing dedicated to people overcoming homelessness.
“Thanks for joining us to celebrate the start of construction of this life-changing project,” said Jim Schmid, Founder and CEO of Chelsea Investment Corporation.
Through its affiliate, St. Vincent de Paul Management, Inc., Father Joe’s Villages also will provide supportive services for the development’s residents who previously experienced homelessness, such as case management, life skills, and access to mental health and substance use services. Tenants will additionally have access to an array of services and resources offered at Father Joe’s Villages’ nearby campus.
“I think of the history of being around Father Joe when he was our assistant pastor at St. Regis Catholic Church and the endless scripture around here talking about buildings. God, what a dream can do,” said Terrence Caster, a businessman and philanthropist who, with his family, donated $10 million to fund the development.
The development will include 1,000 square feet of community rooms on each of the residential floors, eight community kitchens, laundry facilities, and bicycle parking. Recreational activities, fitness, and multipurpose rooms, outdoor gathering areas, a dog run area, and a community garden will also be available at the property.
A 24-hour on-site guard is one of multiple security features, and approximately 2,760 square feet of commercial space will house on-site property management, social service staff, and resident-related amenity spaces.
Additional funding for the development includes a $17.95 million State Department of Housing & Community Development (HCD) Affordable Housing & Sustainable Communities loan; a $20 million loan from the HCD Supportive Housing Multifamily Housing Program; a $15.72 million loan from the County of San Diego No Place Like Home Program; and $10 million in Veterans Housing and Homelessness Prevention Program (VHHP) funds.
The location of Saint Teresa of Calcutta Villa at the corner of 14th and Commercial Streets is the former site of the City of San Diego’s Bridge Shelter for Single Women and Families with Children, which is now located at the San Diego Concourse, including portions of Golden Hall building.
Construction of Saint Teresa of Calcutta Villa is anticipated to be completed in two years.
Vice President of Communications