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Congresswoman Donna Shalala (D-FL) To Discuss Importance of Cross-Sector Collaboration
(Washington, D.C.) June 2, 2020 -- The COVID-19 global pandemic has laid bare the systemic inequities in our fractured social safety net, which creates barriers for low-income individuals and families. The CLPHA 2020 Housing Is Virtual Summit on June 4 and 5 spotlights how critical collaboration at the intersection of housing, education, and health is the most effective community response to the pandemic.
Congresswoman Donna Shalala (D-FL), who also served as Secretary of Health and Human Services from 1993-2001, will bring her deep knowledge from a career in leadership positions in housing, health and education to her keynote session. “Improving health outcomes has been my life’s work. This won’t happen without a holistic approach including integrating housing and education with health. This why I am honored to be the keynote speaker at the 2020 Housing Is Virtual Summit,” said Congresswoman Shalala.
Spanning two days and featuring over 20 online sessions, CLPHA's 2020 Housing Is Summit is the nation’s pre-eminent cross-sector gathering sharing lessons learned in cross-sector collaboration, including deep dives into systems change, embedding equity practices, and the evolving impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our work and lives.
About the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities
The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities is a national non-profit organization that works to preserve and improve public and affordable housing through advocacy, research, policy analysis and public education. CLPHA’s 70 members represent virtually every major metropolitan area in the country. Together they manage 40 percent of the nation’s public housing program; administer more than a quarter of the Housing Choice Voucher program; and operate a wide array of other housing programs. Learn more at clpha.org and on Twitter @CLPHA and follow @housing_is for news on CLPHA’s work to better intersect the housing field and other areas of critical importance such as health and education.
New Funds Will Develop and Sustain Public Housing Authority Initiatives to Improve Postsecondary Achievement for Low-Income Households
WASHINGTON (November 25, 2019) – The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities, a housing advocacy organization and leader in efforts to improve life outcomes for low-income individuals and families, announced today that it has been awarded $300,000 from The Kresge Foundation to deepen connections between public housing authorities and their postsecondary education partners.
The three-year grant enables CLPHA to build on work that began last year, in partnership with The Kresge Foundation, to convene cross-sector housing and education partners who are collaborating to improve postsecondary achievement for students served by public housing authorities, including residents and housing insecure college students.
“Last year we showcased how these two sectors are working together to improve educational outcomes for low-income households. With generous funding from The Kresge Foundation, we will help more cross-sector partners develop and sustain their work,” said CLPHA Executive Director Sunia Zaterman. “As a national organization representing 70 of the largest public housing authorities in the country, CLPHA is well-positioned to identify promising innovations and facilitate peer-learning among those doing the work with the goal to scale successful initiatives that can be replicated nationally. We are very grateful to The Kresge Foundation for its multi-year support of our work.”
With the funds, CLPHA, through its Housing Is Initiative, will establish a leadership institute for a cohort of public housing authority staff and their partners who demonstrate the experience and capacity for postsecondary collaboration. In addition to virtual meetings aimed at institutionalizing their cross-sector work, members of the cohort will travel for in-person site visits to learn about the different projects in the field.
“By supporting stronger partnerships between housing authorities and postsecondary stakeholders, CLPHA’s leadership institute will help increase college access and success for both public housing residents who have postsecondary aspirations but need support to realize their dreams, and current college students, whose housing insecurity threatens to derail their educational progress," said Bethany Miller, program officer with the Kresge Education Program.
About the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities
The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities is a national non-profit organization that works to preserve and improve public and affordable housing through advocacy, research, policy analysis and public education. CLPHA’s 70 members represent virtually every major metropolitan area in the country. Together they manage 40 percent of the nation’s public housing program; administer more than a quarter of the Housing Choice Voucher program; and operate a wide array of other housing programs. Learn more at clpha.org and on Twitter @CLPHA.
About CLPHA’s Housing Is Initiative
The Housing Is Initiative, led by the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities, helps build a future where sectors work together to improve life outcomes. Housing stability is a critical first step to improve life outcomes for low-income children, families, and seniors; CLPHA’s Housing Is Initiative is based on the premise that sectors can better meet needs when they work together. Housing Is establishes, broadens, and deepens efforts to align affordable housing, education, and health systems to produce positive, long-term results. Learn more at housingis.org and on Twitter @housing_is.
About The Kresge Foundation
The Kresge Foundation was founded in 1924 to promote human progress. Today, Kresge fulfills that mission by building and strengthening pathways to opportunity for low-income people in America’s cities, seeking to dismantle structural and systemic barriers to equality and justice. Using a full array of grant, loan, and other investment tools, Kresge invests more than $160 million annually to foster economic and social change. For more information visit kresge.org.
HUD’s cruel proposal would force mixed-status families to decide between a roof for some, or homelessness for all.
WASHINGTON (July 9, 2019) – The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA) today submitted public comments strongly opposing a proposal from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that seeks to eliminate mixed-status immigrant families from HUD-assisted housing, including 55,000 children who are either U.S. citizens or otherwise eligible for HUD assistance.
HUD’s proposal, published in the Federal Register on May 10 for a 60-day comment period, would reinterpret Section 214 of the Housing and Community Development Act to disallow anyone who cannot verify their immigration status from living in public housing or living in a market-rate apartment with a federal rental subsidy, even if their child or other family members are eligible for assistance. Under current law, rental assistance to these households is prorated and those ineligible for a subsidy pay their portion of the rent unassisted, often at market rates.
“HUD’s cruel proposal would force mixed-status families to decide between a roof for some, or homelessness for all,” said CLPHA Executive Director Sunia Zaterman. “This reversal of long-standing policy is antithetical to the mission of public housing, which is to provide safe, affordable housing to very low-income families.”
“We know that stable housing is a platform for improving life outcomes and a foundation for healthy communities. Yet, this proposal instills fear and distrust, and would divert scarce resources, exacerbate the already crisis levels of homelessness, and, in the end, would do nothing to make our communities safer or better off,” said Zaterman.
“HUD’s proposal is contrary to our mission. Our members feel strongly that this re-interpreted regulation is bad public policy and our comments on the proposed rule reflect this,” said Zaterman.
About the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities
The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities is a national non-profit organization that works to preserve and improve public and affordable housing through advocacy, research, policy analysis and public education. CLPHA’s 70 members represent virtually every major metropolitan area in the country. Together they manage 40 percent of the nation’s public housing program; administer more than a quarter of the Housing Choice Voucher program; and operate a wide array of other housing programs. Learn more at clpha.org and on Twitter @CLPHA and follow @housing_is for news on CLPHA’s Housing Is Initiative to better intersect the housing field and other areas of critical importance such as health and education.
(Washington, D.C.) February 25, 2022 -- Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA) Executive Director Sunia Zaterman released the following statement about President Joe Biden’s nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court:
“The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities applauds President Biden’s historic nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court. If confirmed, Judge Jackson will be the first Black woman on the Supreme Court after more than two centuries of the Court’s existence, and she will bring near gender parity with four women serving on the Court. Judge Jackson will bring experience as a public defender to the Court for the first time since Justice Thurgood Marshall retired in 1991.
“President Biden campaigned on the promise to be intentional with his first Supreme Court pick. Intentionality is at the heart of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion movement to bring greater racial equity to our nation’s workplaces. President’s Biden choice of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for a seat on the nation’s highest court represents an important step forward for racial justice in our country.”
About the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities
About CLPHA’s Housing Is Initiative
Honored to Be Only Housing Organization to Sign Commitment Letter
(Washington, D.C.) December 7, 2021 — The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA) applauds the Biden-Harris Administration’s Maternal Health Call to Action announced today, and CLPHA was honored to be the only housing organization to sign the letter of commitment to the action. This recognition speaks to CLPHA’s leadership in health equity and long-standing dedication to improving maternal health among residents of CLPHA’s member public housing authorities (PHAs).
CLPHA launched its commitment to maternal health and many other health-related issues with the creation of the pioneering Housing Is Initiative in 2015. Housing Is helps broaden and launch efforts to align housing, education, and health organizations to produce positive long-term outcomes for those experiencing poverty. Collaboration across systems and sectors—through shared goals, focused resources, and coordinated efforts—strengthens our collective ability to serve the needs of low-income individuals and families effectively and efficiently, and our work’s focus includes young mothers who are disproportionally impacted by housing insecurity.
“The Biden-Harris Administration’s decision to lift maternal health to a White House initiative reflects their continuing commitment to address issues impacting low-income families,” said Sunia Zaterman, executive director of the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities. “From the American Rescue Plan Act that contained an expansion of emergency rental assistance and the child tax credit to the Build Back Better Act that expands housing opportunities for low-income families, the Biden-Harris Administration is proposing a transformational investment in America’s low-income women and families."
Maternal health is an issue embedded with racial, health, and housing disparities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Black women are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related causes than white women. With the majority of PHA residents being Black, indigenous, or people of color, PHAs understand they play a critical role in addressing racial inequities through increased focus on maternal health.
CLPHA’s members have been at the forefront of developing programs around maternal health for their residents. The Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority and CelebrateOne partnered to create Healthy Beginnings at Home, an initiative to reduce infant mortality through a housing intervention. The Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority has partnered with the Full Term First Birthday Initiative to replicate the Healthy Beginnings at Home program. The Boston Housing Authority and Boston Public Health Commission created the Healthy Start in Housing Program that provides housing for homeless men and women with very small children with medical issues, as well as pregnant women experiencing homelessness.
CLPHA looks forward to supporting the Biden-Harris Administration’s Maternal Health Call to Action with its own activities, including a Martin Luther King Jr. Day virtual event on January 18, 2022 that will discuss how racial discrimination has jointly impacted housing inequities and maternal health outcomes and the interaction of these two disparities. During the 2022 Housing Is Summit on May 18-19, 2022, will also hold a leadership panel to discuss how different sectors can come together to create innovative solutions for the maternal health crisis in this country.
About the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities
About CLPHA’s Housing Is Initiative
(Washington, D.C.) November 19, 2021 -- Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA) Executive Director Sunia Zaterman released the following statement after the House passage of the Build Back Better Act today:
“The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities applauds the U.S. House of Representatives' passage of the $1.9 trillion Build Back Better Act. The $150 billion targeted to affordable housing is the single largest investment in public housing ever.
“Today represents a fundamental change in America’s approach to public and affordable housing. The Build Back Better Act is historic legislation that seeks to remedy two generations of chronic disinvestment that has left millions of public housing residents suffering and exacerbated health, safety, climate risks, and racial inequities. These long-term investments to public housing, along with significant expansion of rental and homeownership assistance, will increase housing stability, reduce poverty, provide substantial climate benefits, and spur economic activity that strengthens local communities.
“CLPHA is thankful the House continued to listen to housing advocates by re-inserting provisions that will strengthen the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit’s ability to better leverage the capital required to develop and redevelop aging public housing infrastructure.
“As the Act moves to the Senate, CLPHA will continue its work with Senators to ensure that the public and affordable housing funding levels remain intact in the Senate version.”
About the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities
In an interview with radio program Marketplace for its November 4 story "Apple pledges $2.5 billion to ease California’s housing crisis," CLPHA Executive Director Sunia Zaterman told reporter Jack Stewart that Apple's recent $2.5 billion Bay Area affordable housing pledge is an important starting point in addressing the nation's affordable housing shortage, but also noted that much more money is needed to help public housing authorities provide affordable housing for low-income individuals and families. Zaterman told Stewart that public housing needs an injection of $50 to 70 billion to address its massive capital needs backlog.
“The giving back here [by Apple] should be seen as necessary and required,” said Zaterman, “because these corporations are benefiting from the workforce, from the transportation systems, health systems, that are already in their communities.”
In a new op-ed for The Hill, a prominent political newspaper widely read by policymakers, CLPHA Executive Director Sunia Zaterman underscores the role of public housing authorities (PHAs) as essential partners in local efforts to house those who are particularly vulnerable to housing insecurity, including unsheltered families, veterans, people with disabilities, youth aging out of foster care, victims of domestic violence, and returning citizens. Programs like the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority’s Stable Homes Stable Schools and the Oakland Housing Authority’s Building Bridges are examples of how PHAs are leveraging their limited resources and local partnerships to create more opportunities for housing stability.
Yet, the President’s proposed FY2020 HUD budget would reduce the agency’s funding by more than 16 percent and slash the public housing operating and capital funds by $4.6 billion, which would seriously impede PHAs’ and their communities’ abilities to address the housing needs of low-income and housing-insecure people.
Though House and Senate appropriators propose modest funding increases in their FY20 spending bills, Zaterman argues that level funding is not enough to meet the growing and urgent demand for housing that is safe and affordable. “We can address the crisis of homelessness in America, and public housing authorities are prepared to help solve it with appropriate resources.”
Part two of Affordable Housing Finance’s special report “Turning Point for Public Housing,” explores tools such as the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program and Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) that public housing authorities can use to recapitalize and redevelop properties for their residents and communities. In the face of unsustainable federal funding levels, CLPHA Executive Director Sunia Zaterman tells the magazine that public housing is at a crossroads, but with the right tools, “we could have the portfolio totally recapitalized in 10 years.”
Zaterman was also featured in part one of the series to discuss the impact of the federal disinvestment in public housing. “We have lost about 10,000 units a year from underfunding,” she said. But, “the number of public housing units lost may have slowed to about 8,000 a year, thanks to RAD, in the last couple of years.”
Read the series, which includes interviews with housing advocates, policy experts, and policymakers, online here.
On May 21, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Dr. Ben Carson, testified before the House Financial Services Committee at a hearing entitled “Housing in America: Oversight of the U.S. Department of Housing and Development” where he received pointed questions from the committee Democrats on recent HUD proposals such as rent reform, the non-citizen rule, and HUD’s FY20 budget request which would slash funding for public housing.
After the hearing, CLPHA Executive Director Sunia Zaterman was asked by USA TODAY reporter Nicholas Wu about the accuracy of Carson’s justification of the non-citizen rule – that, based on Section 214, the Secretary may not support housing for people who are not here legally. Zaterman told Wu that the law “explicitly authorizes both those with eligible and ineligible immigration status to occupy units in ‘covered housing programs.’”
“This is a punitive act,” she said. “Even HUD’s justification laid out the negative impacts of doing this on the households themselves which often include children that are eligible and parents and heads of household who are not.” Read the USA TODAY article.
NPR’s May 16 story, which also aired May 22 on NPR’s Morning Edition, “Trump Administration Wants To Cut Funding For Public Housing Repairs,” featuring District of Columbia Housing Authority Executive Director Tyrone Garrett and CLPHA Executive Director Sunia Zaterman, underscores the need to reinvest in public housing with funding for the capital needs backlog and more tools for recapitalization and redevelopment.
Of the Trump Administration’s proposal to slash funding for public housing, Garrett says, “Other housing authorities throughout the country are in the same boat. We're looking for opportunities to be able to improve the lives of our families, and it's becoming increasingly difficult with the funding cuts."
This month, HUD's Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI) newsletter focused their spotlight on the Housing Authority of Kansas City's Sam Rodgers Place and discussed how HAKC and Kansas City successfully developed and implemented a comprehensive Choice Neighborhoods housing plan that responded to resident needs and culminated in a healthy living community that combined health and wellness with mixed-income housing.
From the Tacoma Housing Authority's press release:
Ballmer Group has awarded the Tacoma Housing Authority (THA) a three-year $1,233,000 grant. The funds will be used to expand capacity in THA’s successful 2GEN Family Engagement Program, which emphasizes a multi-generational approach to housing and family engagement, stability, and thriving for THA clients. The goal of the program is to create opportunities for families of elementary, middle, and high school students to learn about and practice Social Emotional Learning (SEL) together.
“We are excited to receive this grant from Ballmer Group in support of our 2GEN program,” said Tacoma Housing Authority Executive Director April Black. “2GEN is one of our most critical and successful programs in engaging THA families beyond housing, supporting their social, emotional, educational, and career development growth.” The 2Gen program focuses on whole family engagement and support, and this funding will help us bring on 50% more partners to a total of 18 partner organizations, to provide programming and support on-site and will allow for double the number of families served and goal plans completed. Ultimately, the program will serve no less than 110 families annually, including all members of the household, by the end of 2025.
Grant funding will support 2GEN staffing, professional development, and contracted partnership costs for expanded learning opportunities and mental and emotional well-being. THA’s Client Support & Empowerment (CSE) department, the department that created and oversees the 2GEN program, seeks to use these funds to expand access to our 2Gen program across our THA portfolio, including the Salishan neighborhood. We will continue to expand family-centered coaching practices into a supportive services model that recognizes the natural assets of multi-generational families and the importance of a multi-layered support ecosystem. We will integrate mental and emotional well-being into the model through social-emotional learning, mental health partnerships, and family-driven goal setting. Professional development dollars will enable CSE to implement The Prosperity Agenda’s Family-Centered Coaching model and help institute a sustainable train-the-trainer model to all 2GEN staff. This funding will also allow CSE to double the number of service contracts with smaller, grassroots organizations providing culturally relevant programming.
From the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority's website article:
The Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA) provides public and deeply affordable housing to nearly 10,000 residents at 30 percent of the resident’s adjusted income. For the thousands of residents on a fixed income, that means being vulnerable to macroeconomic conditions like inflation for their regular cost of living expenses. While paying $20 more for groceries a week might not seem like a lot to some, for those living in MPHA housing on a fixed income, that change can significantly alter their monthly budget.
Since the pandemic, MPHA has seen a significant increase in the number of residents not making rent payments. Unfortunately, because federal regulations require MPHA to collect rent and prevent the agency from waiving owed balances from current residents, the agency has seen a growing number of residents who had their housing threatened because of changes in their personal expenses.
Seeing this trend emerge early in the pandemic, MPHA established an internal housing stabilization team dedicated to connecting residents that had back-owed rents with various financial and service supports. The team was intended to help residents solve both their immediate financial needs to remain housed and aid in making lasting changes to ensure continued rent payment.
During the pandemic, MPHA assisted nearly 750 MPHA families receive more than $2.5 million in rent relief through RentHelpMN. But while state rental assistance went away, the economic hardships of MPHA residents did not. As a result, the housing stabilization team shifted to Hennepin County’s emergency assistance program. In 2023, the team assisted nearly 450 MPHA families receive more than $800,000 in rent relief payments from Hennepin County’s emergency assistance program.
Leading this work at MPHA is A Vue, Housing Stability Coordinator. A works across MPHA teams and with external partners to ensure residents can remain housed when they face financial challenges.
“Whether it is a single event—like a hospital stay—or a series of unexpected expenses that prevented a resident from paying their rent, having to pay back-rent can be overwhelming,” said A Vue, Housing Stability Coordinator at MPHA. “Our housing stabilization work saves many from eviction.”
When a resident first misses their rent payment, numerous MPHA teams work to connect with the resident. Team members from property management, rent collection, and on-site social services teams work to connect with the residents to understand their unique situation and needs. In some cases, it is as simple as the resident forgetting to pay, but often the missed payment is a result of a changing financial situation.
If a MPHA resident misses a rent payment, staff takes an all-of-the-above approach to help the resident make their payment. On-site property management and social service teams will work to make sure the resident is receiving any social, medical, or wellness benefits they need. The housing stabilization team will connect with the resident to discuss a possible emergency rent assistance application to help clear owed balances.
“We are committed to assisting our residents. Offering support and resources, especially when they aren’t expecting it, brings hope,” said A.
From the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority's press release:
The Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) Board of Commissioners today approved a combined total of nearly $100 million in new investments that will develop or preserve more than 700 apartments for Columbus-area seniors, families and people with disabilities.
“This major investment represents CMHA’s continuing commitment to provide affordable housing and meet the needs of our neighbors in Columbus and throughout Franklin County,” said CMHA Board Chair James L. Ervin Jr. “We remain dedicated to our values of community, commitment, and collaboration. CMHA will continue to leverage all our resources to find innovative paths to help meet the region’s evolving housing needs."
The community investments approved by CMHA’s Board include:
- River and Rich (phase II): Authorizing the issuance and sale of $47.5 million in general revenue bonds to acquire, construct and equip an approximately 234-unit rental housing community with commercial space. Partners on this project include: Casto, The Robert Weiler Company, The Kelley Companies, and Mark Cain, of S. Cain Development and Construction.
- Country Ridge: Issuing $17.5 million in general revenue bonds to renovate the 96-unit multifamily residential apartment complex at 5656 Farmhouse Lane in Hilliard.
- Maplewood Heights Apartments & Sugar Grove Square Apartments: Issuing $25 million in general revenue bonds to renovate the 71-unit complex of one-bedroom apartments at 91 Maplewood Ave. in Westerville and the 120-unit complex of one-bedroom apartments at 530 S. State St. in Whitehall. These apartment complexes serve senior families and provide comprehensive support services.
- Southpoint Place – Family & Singles: Investing $9 million to renew CMHA's Project-Based Vouchers (PBVs) through 2039 for residents of the 40-unit family complex of two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments and 15 single-unit apartments, which also receive comprehensive support services.
- Nelson Park Apartments: Acquiring and renovating the 172-unit multifamily community. Partners on this project include Renewal Housing Associates, LLC, and The Orlean Company. Financial details will be released pending final authorization of the terms.
The $90 million bond plan and $9 million allocation of PBVs is part of CMHA’s long-term strategy to grow investment in the region’s housing stock and to more effectively address central Ohio’s housing shortage, agency officials said. The additional $90 million in bonds will bring CMHA’s total bond issuance to more than $171 million for the development and preservation of affordable housing. This was spurred by the A+ rating the authority received from S&P Global Ratings.
S&P is considered the largest of the three major credit rating agencies, which also include Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings. The A+ rating was secured after extensive third-party reviews and reporting from CMHA’s finance team.
“Our S&P A+ rating will significantly reduce the agency’s cost of financing by providing access to the bond markets,” CMHA CEO Charles D. Hillman said. “These factors create a self-sustaining model that will assist us in delivering on our strategic goal of adding to our portfolio a minimum of 500 units of housing per year over each of the next five years.”
CMHA’s PBV program is part of the federal Housing Choice Voucher program administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Families or individuals in units with PBVs contribute 30% of their income for rent and utilities. The voucher pays the difference between the tenant contribution and the unit’s total rent and utility costs. Tenants in PBV units are assisted as long as they live in the unit and continue to qualify for the program.
PBVs are the largest, most available tool to create new project-based rental assistance, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a nonpartisan research and policy institute that works at the federal and state levels on fiscal policy and public programs that affect low- and moderate-income families and individuals.
Data from the Affordable Housing Alliance of Central Ohio (AHACO) shows only 29 affordable housing units are available for every 100 extremely low-income households in the Columbus and Franklin County area. AHACO estimates 54,000 low- and moderate-income households in Franklin County pay more than half their income toward housing costs. Central Ohio also faces a deficit of 11,000 to 14,000 new housing units every year to support a healthy housing market.
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.