Elected officials Friday opened 52 apartments for seniors who have experienced homelessness, providing an "affordable" rental home and supportive services.
The $27 million Ivy Senior Apartments in Clairemont will remain affordable for 55 years for households with income up to 50% of the San Diego Area Median Income.
"This is about our residents in our communities, being able to have a home with services that they need, so that people aren't on the streets," said Senate President pro-Tempore Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, at Friday's grand opening. "It's wrong. It's the biggest problem we have in the state, and we can do better. And because of all of you, we will continue to.
The apartments were developed by Wakeland Housing and Development Corporation with a loan and rental housing vouchers from the San Diego Housing Commission. The development also includes one unrestricted manager's unit.
"This is what solves homelessness. Housing solves homelessness. Permanent supportive housing ends chronic homelessness. And that's what we're here doing today," said Mayor Todd Gloria.
According to the SDHC, seven of the housing units at Ivy Senior Apartments are set aside for individuals with a diagnosed serious mental illness, who will receive supportive services through providers contracting with the county's Diego Behavioral Health Services.
"It's about people moving in. It's about new housing units being constructed," said San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher. "And so let's take today and let's celebrate. Let's see how good this feels to get it done. And then let's get out there and make sure that there are a community of folks that are willing to show up when these opportunities arise time and again, and demand that this get done."
The development was built in the Clairemont neighborhood on the site of a former office building.
"We are bringing services and housing to areas that have not been seen before, that are not used to having these types of housing," said San Diego City Councilman Chris Cate, whose district includes the new apartments. "But I think with the leadership that we've seen in the local, county, state and federal levels, we're going to see folks who have not seen this say, `Yes, we want to do more. How can we do more? How do we support more?"'
The housing commission awarded 52 rental housing vouchers to help the residents pay their rent. These vouchers are tied directly to each unit, and remain with the unit when a resident moves on to help a new resident experiencing homelessness obtain stable housing.
"These apartments are a great example of the type of collaboration needed to create housing solutions to address homelessness in the city of San Diego," said SDHC President and CEO Richard C. Gentry.
Residents will receive supportive services on- and off-site from St. Paul's Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, People Assisting the Homeless San Diego and Alpha Project. Services include in-home assistance with daily activities, transportation assistance to medical and other appointments and on-site case management services to assess tenants' needs, identify their goals and provide goal action plans.