Community and Economic Development

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Eric Symons
(619) 533-5318

Tim Graham
(619) 533-5130

City Heights Affordable Housing Redevelopment Project Approved
City Redevelopment Agency Subsidizes Critically Needed Family Housing

SAN DIEGO - The Redevelopment Agency of the City of San Diego authorized a development agreement this week with Affirmed Housing Group to create a $20 million for-rent affordable housing development in the City Heights Redevelopment Project Area. The agreement marks another positive step that the City and its agencies have taken to work with developers to provide a quality mix of housing options for families of all incomes.

The 69-unit project, named Auburn Park, will be located on the southwest corner of University Avenue and 52nd Street. The footprint of the development is approximately 98,000 square feet of blighted property that is primarily vacant and includes two existing dwelling units and a segment of the Auburn Creek drainage channel.

"I'm very pleased that we're working with a partner who is responsive to the needs of the community and building desperately needed affordable housing for more San Diego families," said Councilmember Jim Madaffer, whose Seventh District includes a portion of the City Heights Redevelopment Project Area. "San Diego is still facing an affordable housing crisis but we are making headway with redevelopment projects such as this."

The $20.5 million development will provide 49 two-bedroom, two-bath units and 20 three-bedroom, two-bath units for families that fall into income guidelines. Of the 69 units, two will serve as residential managers' lodging. The project will also include an office, a public meeting room, on-site parking in a subterranean garage, a 25,000 square foot public park (developed, owned, maintained and 24-hour security provided by the project) and on-site management. The development will also restore the Auburn Branch of Chollas Creek that runs within the project's boundaries. The project could break ground as early as February 2006 and will take approximately 18 months to complete.

"We are pleased to once again partner with the City of San Diego to provide high quality housing for San Diego's workforce," said James Silverwood, president of Affirmed Housing Group. "Auburn Park will not only provide families with affordable housing options, but the environmental enhancements, such as the restoration to the Auburn Branch of Chollas Creek, will benefit future generations in City Heights."

More than $8.5 million in funding for the project was provided through the Redevelopment Agency Affordable Housing Program, a collaboration of the Redevelopment Agency (which includes the City's Community and Economic Development Department, the Centre City Development Corporation and the Southeastern Economic Development Corporation) and the San Diego Housing Commission. Redevelopment housing funds from the Centre City and City Heights Redevelopment Project Areas will be used for the subsidy. Additional funding for the $20 million project will be provided by anticipated low-income tax credit proceeds and private lenders.

"This project will eliminate blight, better utilize the property and create much-needed affordable housing," said Debra Fischle-Faulk, deputy executive director of the Redevelopment Agency of the City of San Diego. "Through the valuable tool of redevelopment, we are able to provide subsidies to developers to make it possible for projects like this to proceed."

The goal of the Redevelopment Agency Affordable Housing Program is to increase the City's affordable housing inventory for very low- and low-income households, to assist people with moderate-income levels achieve homeownership and, on a case-by-case basis, to acquire and rehabilitate existing properties. Proposals may be for residential or mixed-use developments; housing that is all low-income or is mixed-income; multi- or single-family dwelling units or a combination thereof; and rental or for-sale units.

In addition to Auburn Park, there are seven additional affordable housing developments that have been approved, representing a combined total of 858 units, 673 of which are affordable. These seven projects are located throughout the City and represent redevelopment subsidies of more than $41 million combined. There are 10 additional projects under review, representing 1,648 new housing units, 815 of which are earmarked as affordable housing. These additional proposed projects represent potential redevelopment subsidies of more than $60 million combined.

Auburn Park will be available for rent to families that meet eligible income requirements for very low- and low-incomes. Residents interested in joining the interest list for Auburn Park should visit Affirmed Housing Group's Web site at www.affirmedhousing.com and click on the "rental inquiry" section. For those without access to the internet, call (760) 738-8401 to be added to the interest list.

For more information about available affordable housing units citywide, contact the San Diego Housing Commission at (619) 231-9400 or visit www.sdhc.net. Comprehensive affordable housing information, including policies, initiatives and a wide array of programs, is also available on the City of San Diego's Web site at www.sandiego.gov/housing.

For more information about the City Heights Redevelopment Project Area, contact Bob Kennedy, Redevelopment Project Manager at (619) 533-4276 or rhkennedy@sandiego.gov, or contact the Redevelopment Agency, Community and Economic Development Department at (619) 533-4233 or visit the City's web site at www.sandiego.gov/redevelopment-agency.

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The City of San Diego Redevelopment Agency eliminates blight from designated areas, as well as achieves the goals of development, reconstruction and rehabilitation of residential, commercial, industrial, and retail districts. Redevelopment is one of the most effective ways to breathe new life into deteriorated areas plagued by social, physical, environmental or economic conditions that act as a barrier to new investment by private enterprise. The City of San Diego Redevelopment Agency consists of three divisions: the City Redevelopment Division (which provides overall agency management and is housed in the City of San Diego Community and Economic Development Department), the Centre City Development Corporation and the Southeastern Economic Development Corporation.
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