COUNTY BREAKS GROUNDS ON NEW AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR SENIORS
A groundbreaking ceremony for Levant Senior Cottages, 126 affordable homes for senior citizens (plus 1 for the manager), took place this morning in San Diego’s Linda Vista neighborhood on County property that once was home to a building that serviced children and families.
Levant Senior Cottages are scheduled to be completed and ready to welcome new residents in 2024. Affordable housing is difficult to come by these days, but this development is being built to ensure seniors on fixed incomes can afford them. At least 20% of the units will be for seniors with 50% or less of the Area Median Income; and the remaining units will be for seniors with 60% or less of the Area Median Income.
Chair Nathan Fletcher, Rebecca Louie, President and CEO of Wakeland Housing and Development Corporation, Jess Haro, Vice President of San Diego Kind Corporation, Nick Macchione, Director, County of San Diego Health and Human Services, and members of the community were on hand for today’s festivities.
“We are taking action, and doing everything within our authority to make more affordable housing available for working families and seniors,” said Chair Fletcher. “By using available land in our inventory and providing it to developers at discounted price, it gives them the ability to build new housing more quickly without the hassle of finding the land and acquiring it, which can drive up the cost. “Our approach at the County is a viable one, and we’re working to get more government agencies to join us so we can build more housing San Diegans can afford.”
The County is leasing the 4.57-acre property to the developers for 70 years with rent set at $1.00 per year and a $10,000 annual administrative fee. All units will remain affordable
“We are so excited about Levant Senior Cottages and the 126 affordable homes it will provide for our low income seniors,” said Wakeland‘s President and CEO Rebecca Louie. “Senior homelessness has been increasing dramatically and communities like this are the safety net we need to keep them stably housed and healthy. We greatly appreciate our partnership with the County of San Diego and the commitment they showed to affordable housing by using this public land for the public good.”
Several years ago, San Diego Kind Corporation did a feasibility study to explore a cost effective and creative affordable senior housing solution for the Levant Street property.
“Today’s Levant Senior Cottages groundbreaking is an action which gives us all a sense of great pleasure and accomplishment,” said Jess D. Haro, Vice President, San Diego Kind Corporation. “I want to acknowledge Wakeland Housing Development for their cooperation, leadership and expertise to bring this project to where we are at this very moment. We look forward to future projects with the County of San Diego, and other agencies committed to this urgent need.”
In preparation for construction to begin, many County employees and partners are working behind the scenes to make it happen.
“Levant Senior Cottages is the first project to break ground of eight surplus County properties our Board of Supervisors has committed to affordable housing so far, and it’s exciting to know it won’t be the last” said Nick Macchione, director for the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency which oversees County housing projects. “Thanks to our Board, this site today has begun its transformation from one that once served families and children, to a respite for older adults, our fastest growing vulnerable population.”
Wakeland received an award from the San Diego Housing Commission in the amount of $6M and 70 project-based vouchers. The Linda Vista Community Planning Group approved the project in October 2020. In February 2021, Wakeland received an award of $19M from California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) Multifamily Housing Program (MHP) funds. Wakeland applied for 4% California Tax Credit Allocation Committee (TCAC) and tax-exempt bonds in September 2021 and were awarded just under $23 million on 12/8/2021.