By Jose A. Alvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office
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May 3, 2017 (Ramona) - High rental prices and low vacancy rates have made it extremely difficult for many San Diegans to find affordable places to live.
To help address the need, the County Board of Supervisors today approved spending $4.5 million towards the construction of two affordable housing developments consisting of 143 units. Those units, combined with an additional 118 units of Section 8 housing, will result in the creation of 261 new affordable housing apartments in the County.
“There is an incredible need for projects like these because the cost of living continues to go up, and the number of seniors on a fixed income and our senior population are growing,” said Chairwoman Dianne Jacob, County Board of Supervisors. “It is vital for us to support organizations that are able to fill the critical housing gaps.”
The Grove is a $27 million development in the City of Vista, which includes $2.7 million in U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development HOME Investment Partnership funds and 24 Section 8 vouchers. The 81 apartments will be for very low and low-income seniors 55 and older. The development will also include energy-efficient design elements such as drought-tolerant landscaping and solar panels.
The Ramona Senior Apartments, in the unincorporated area of Ramona, will consist of 62 affordable units for low-income seniors 55 and older earning no more than 60 percent of the Area Median Income: that is, $35,700 for one person and $52,900 for two people. The $19 million development will include $1.84 million in HOME funds and 61 Section 8 vouchers. The apartments will also incorporate a variety of energy-efficient design elements.
Both developments may include some units for participants in Project One for All, which provides housing and wraparound services for homeless people with severe mental illness.
“Mental illness is a major cause of homelessness,” said Nick Macchione, director of the County Health and Human Services Agency. “Having a stable place to live gives people hope and is the first step on the road to recovery.”
The additional 118 Section 8 units will be available at the following locations:
- 54 units for homeless veterans at the Veterans Village of San Diego development in Escondido.
- 54 apartments for developmentally disabled adults and older adults at the Villa de Vida development in Poway.
- 10 units for low-income families and people with serious mental illness at the Pearl complex in Solana Beach.
The County Spends more than $100 million in U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funds every year to help local residents with housing subsidies. About 10,400 households and over 24,000 people each month receive housing subsidies through the County’s Housing and Community Development Services. Together with the Veterans Administration, the County also provides monthly rental assistance to more than 500 veterans and their families through the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing.