April 12, 2019
Development with Affordable Studios for San Diegans Experiencing Homelessness Breaks Ground
The San Diego Housing Commission awarded rental housing vouchers to help previously homeless households pay rent at The Link development
SAN DIEGO, CA – With support from the San Diego Housing Commission’s (SDHC) homelessness action plan, HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO, a new development that broke ground today in downtown San Diego will provide permanent housing with supportive services for San Diegans experiencing homelessness.
“Downtown is a welcoming community. It understands San Diego’s capacity to house the homeless, provide the services, and ensure that permanent supportive housing units benefit the communities that they serve,” said City Councilmember Chris Ward, the Chair of the Regional Task Force on the Homeless, whose Council district includes the location of The Link at 707 17th Street.
Of the 86 affordable rental housing units The Link will include, 72 are designated to provide permanent supportive housing. SDHC awarded 72 federal Project-Based Housing Vouchers to The Link through HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO to provide rental assistance for these 72 studios. The Link will be developed by Affirmed Housing Group.
“These studios will add to the more than 6,000 housing opportunities that the San Diego Housing Commission’s HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO plan has created in less than five years for San Diegans experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness,” SDHC Board of Commissioners Vice Chair Ryan Clumpner said.
The rental housing vouchers that SDHC awarded will provide rental assistance specifically for the affordable housing units at The Link. When a resident is ready to move on, the rental housing voucher remains with the unit to help another San Diegan experiencing homelessness to move off the streets or out of a shelter into The Link.
Residents for The Link’s 72 permanent supportive housing units will be identified through the regional Coordinated Entry System – a database that allows homeless housing providers to determine the most appropriate option to house an individual experiencing homelessness, based on who is most in need.
Father Joe’s Villages will provide residents of these units with supportive and case management services on-site and at Father Joe’s Villages’ facilities nearby, including healthcare, life skills training, employment and education services, and mental health services.
In addition to the 72 permanent supportive housing units, The Link will include 14 studios for individuals earning up to 50 percent of the San Diego Area Median Income, currently $34,100 per year for a single-adult household. The Link also includes two market-rate manager’s units.
“We’ve embraced the fact that we, as an affordable housing developer, have to help with the homeless crisis. That means that we’re going to be out in front. We’re going to be out negotiating deals and making things happen. So we know that with a building like this, we’re not going to end homelessness here. Our goal, though, is to reduce homelessness,” Affirmed Housing Group President & CEO Jim Silverwood said.
The City of San Diego awarded a $10.3 million loan toward the development of The Link through a Notice of Funding Availability issued by Civic San Diego. The estimated total development cost for The Link is approximately $34.1 million.
“We have a lot of people like yourselves that are here today that are working real hard to find solutions to problems that we have in the city. That’s what we like to celebrate at Civic San Diego, and that’s what we like to be part of. We’re looking forward to the future so we can keep on being that kind of contributor, that kind of an asset for this great city, and make sure that projects like these and needs like these get addressed and get built,” Civic San Diego Board Chair Carlos Vasquez said.
Additional financing for the link includes construction financing and Low-Income Housing Tax Credit equity investment from Bank of America.
“Lifting people out of poverty and onto the path of economic stability is one of the most important things that we can do as a bank,” said Rick Bregman, San Diego Market President for Bank of America. “Working closely with Affirmed Housing, the San Diego Housing Commission and Civic San Diego, this public-private partnership helped make The Link a truly transformational project for our most vulnerable San Diegans.”
Amenities at The Link will include a community room, laundry facilities, and large terraces.
Scott Marshall, Vice President of Communications