Mayor Gloria Launches New ‘Bridge to Home’ Program to Create More Affordable Housing
As part of his efforts to produce more homes that are affordable for all San Diegans, Mayor Todd Gloria highlighted seven proposed affordable housing projects that have been recommended for funding under a new program called “Bridge to Home” that will help create more affordable housing throughout the city.
“This is another effort to ensure the City is doing all it can to foster the creation of housing that is affordable to low-income San Diegans,” Mayor Todd Gloria said. “The Bridge to Home program will help provide the gap financing needed to make these housing projects a reality and create hundreds of homes for families and individuals who can’t afford market-rate housing – including many who are currently experiencing homelessness.”
Under the competitive program, nearly $32 million in loan funding is being made available to affordable housing developers. Administered by the City of San Diego’s Economic Development Department (EDD), the program draws its funding from the City’s Low and Moderate Income Housing Asset Fund, the federal Community Development Block Grant program and the state’s Permanent Local Housing Allocation program, which was created through Senate Bill 2, authored by Senate President pro Tem Toni G. Atkins in 2017.
“Californians are in desperate need of more housing solutions, especially housing that is affordable. The City of San Diego’s new funding program will do just that, and is the kind of practical solution that will help to bring more units to fruition,” Senate President pro Tem Atkins said. “When I authored SB 2, the Building Homes and Jobs Act of 2017, my hope was that it would be used to create opportunities for more affordable housing, and I’m proud to see that is an integral part of the City’s program. This program will not only build homes, but help build a more equitable approach to achieving the California dream.”
The seven projects selected for funding under the new program will create 662 homes, including 193 that come with supportive services for people experiencing homelessness. All seven are within a half-mile of an existing or planned major transit stop, making the program consistent with the City’s climate strategies.
Iris at San Ysidro – 100 homes, including 15 with supportive services
Beyer Boulevard Transit Village (San Ysidro) – 100 homes
Ventana al Sur (San Ysidro) – 101 homes, including 25 with supportive services
17th and Commercial (East Village) – 107 homes, all with supportive services
Cortez Hill Apartments (Downtown) – 88 homes, including 14 with supportive services
43rd Street Apartments – 65 homes, including 32 with supportive services
Rancho Bernardo Transit Village – 100 homes
Cortez Hill Apartments, scheduled for a City Council hearing next week, is the first project that will come forward for consideration. The remaining projects are expected to advance through the approval process in April and May.
“San Diegans must have access to homes that don’t leave them on the edge of a financial cliff every month,” said City Council President Sean Elo-Rivera. “This program is exactly what our city needs to help us address our housing-affordability and homelessness crises. I look forward to creating these affordable homes as quickly as possible.”
Three of the seven projects are in District 8, represented by City Councilmember Vivian Moreno.
“As the Chair of the City’s Land Use and Housing Committee, I have made it a priority to provide housing opportunities for all San Diegans,” Councilmember Moreno said. “I am pleased that the ‘Bridge to Home’ program will provide more housing in District 8 because it is critical our residents have more housing choices.”
The City’s EDD released a request for qualifications (RFQ) in December 2020. Nineteen housing developers responded, and 15 were deemed eligible. Those eligible were sent a notice of funding availability in May 2021 and a request for proposals. A panel of housing experts selected seven proposals.
“As a City, we are always looking for ways to provide needed services to our residents,” said Christina Bibler, director of the Economic Development Department. “This program is just one step to help our residents breathe a little easier and it works to stimulate the economy by providing funds to create jobs and help the vulnerable populations of San Diego find an affordable place to live.”
Additional funding for the program is expected to be available over the next three years. To be eligible, projects must create homes that are affordable to households earning 80 percent of area median income or less, and units must be affordable for at least 55 years. A quarter of the money is set aside for smaller and emerging development partners that will each provide 40 units or fewer, to ensure inclusion.
“The availability of these funds is good news for San Diego amid the ongoing shortage of affordable housing,” said San Diego Housing Commission President & CEO Richard C. Gentry. “These funds are an important additional resource to create new rental housing that San Diegans with low income will be able to afford for years to come.”
“Bridge to Home” is aligned with Mayor Gloria’s “Homes For All of Us” initiative, a comprehensive effort to create more housing at prices that San Diegans can afford. “Homes For All of Us” features multiple Housing Action Packages that include numerous reforms that make it easier to build housing for low- and middle-income residents. The City Council passed the first Housing Action Package in February.