From the San Diego Housing Commission's press release:
As crews on excavators and other heavy machinery worked to clear concrete and prepare the East Village site for construction, a groundbreaking ceremony across the street today celebrated an affordable housing development in collaboration with the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) that will provide 270 affordable rental apartments for San Diegans with lower income, including people experiencing homelessness.
“As Mayor, I’ve been working to make needed game-changing reforms to our city policies to increase the amount of housing that San Diegans can afford,” Mayor Todd Gloria said in a statement read at the groundbreaking. He was unable to attend the ceremony due to the ongoing efforts to support recovery from last week’s storm. “In partnership, it’s the home builders who put hammer to nail and do the work on the ground to create the homes that bring stability to people’s lives. It’s firms like Chelsea Investment Corporation and projects like Harrington Heights that are the real difference-makers in our efforts to solve our homelessness and housing crisis.”
Developed by Chelsea Investment Corporation near the intersection of Broadway and 13th Street in San Diego’s East Village neighborhood, Harrington Heights will remain affordable for 55 years for households with income up to 50 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), approximately $62,000 for a three-person household. Some units will serve San Diegans with lower incomes, including individuals earning about $24,000 a year or less.
“When I speak to community groups, I often refer to this project, Harrington Heights, as an example of the kind of housing that San Diego needs to build,” said San Diego Councilmember Stephen Whitburn, whose District 3 includes the development site. “First, it has a lot of affordable units—270. This project is going to help a lot of people. And second, it’s deeply affordable and permanent supportive housing, which will help people who are struggling the most. This is the type of housing development that I hear from so many San Diego, it’s what they want to see.”
A mix of residents with diverse needs will call Harrington Heights home, including unhoused veterans, non-veterans experiencing homelessness, families and individuals with lower income, and families with members who have intellectual or developmental disabilities.
“When it is completed, the Harrington Heights development will be life-changing for many individuals and families who are struggling economically in our city today,” SDHC President & CEO Lisa Jones said. “More than ever, a stable place to call home with rent that is affordable is essential. And people can’t live their best quality of life without housing, every quality-of-life indicator, education, career opportunities, health, is better with housing. And we know how critical that is. And yet it remains out of reach for so many people.”
SDHC awarded 115 rental housing vouchers to help Harrington Heights residents pay their rent. Of those, 75 housing vouchers will assist individual experiencing homelessness, including 10 set aside specifically for veterans experiencing homelessness. The remaining 40 SDHC housing vouchers will be for households with lower income who are not experiencing homelessness, with annual income ranging from 25 to 40 percent of AMI. All the vouchers that SDHC awarded are tied to the development, so that when a resident moves on, the housing voucher remains to help the household that moves into a new unit at the property.
SDHC also awarded an $8 million loan that consists of federal and local funds that SDHC administers, including U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development HOME Investment Partnership Program funding awarded to the City of San Diego and the City of San Diego Affordable Housing Fund. In addition, SDHC authorized the issuance of up to $68,700,000 in Multifamily Housing Revenue Bonds and $37 million in taxable bonds toward the development of Harrington Heights. These bonds were approved by the San Diego City Council, acting as the Housing Authority of the City of San Diego.
Harrington Heights, which also includes three managers units, is one of several developments taking shape in the East Village neighborhood of Downtown San Diego.
“That’s really what we’re doing here today, is to celebrate that in two-years’ time, we will be housing 273 households,” said Chelsea Investment Corporation Director of Development Heidi Mather. “Chelsea’s not alone in beautification and improvement of the East Village neighborhood. We join the City of San Diego, our nonprofit organizations, other developers, and contractors all of whom share the vision of a better East Village.”
Additional partners on Harrington Heights include the City of San Diego, which provided a development loan of $10.14 million as well as the land through a lease agreement; the California Department of Development Services and the San Diego Regional Center, which provided $4.25 million; and the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), which provided more than $40 million in loans from several funding programs.
“The city became an early partner in this project. That contribution of the land, that early support and collaborative spirit between developer and the city, creates the best outcomes for the community. And I hope you all are excited about that. Because of the success of this project, and many like it in San Diego in particular, and across the state, to utilize our public land for the creation of affordable housing, HCD has added priority for projects to almost all of our funding programs for projects that are on public land,” said Tim Parham, HCD’s Data and Innovation Unit Chief.
Forty units at the development will be for residents with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
“These homes empower families and adults with developmental disabilities to in with increased self-reliance, with the support of the community,” said Kate Kinnamont, Associate Executive Director of the San Diego Regional Center, which will serve the residents with disabilities at Harrington Heights.
Residents who experienced homelessness will have on-site amenities and support and resources from Alpha Project, including education and employment services; integrated medical, dental and behavioral health services; substance use disorder services; case management; tenant services; and life skills classes.
Unhoused veterans who move into Harrington Heights will receive rental assistance through Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) Project-Based Housing Vouchers from SDHC and supportive services from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System.
The development is near City College, the City College Transit Station, served by the San Diego Trolley and multiple bus lines, and SDHC’s main offices.