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March 23, 2019

First-Time Homebuyers in Logan Heights Welcomed to Their New Townhomes at COMM22, a San Diego Housing Commission Partnership

First families move into San Diego Habitat for Humanity development

SAN DIEGO, CA — The presentation of oversized ceremonial keys today culminated the path to homeownership for four families, including Alexis and her children, who celebrated being first-time homebuyers at San Diego Habitat for Humanity’s COMM22 development in Logan Heights, with assistance from the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC).

“I grew up in Logan. I’ve gone from one side to the other, within a mile radius of where my grandparents lived, and now I can live here too, and be a grandparent when my kids start having kids. I’m glad to get to stay in the neighborhood because they can still attend the same school, and nothing has changed for them, ‘cause they know the environment really well,” said Alexis, who lives in her new townhome with her 6-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son.

A ceremony this afternoon included a ribbon-cutting to mark the completion of the first phase of construction for the Habitat for Humanity development of three- and four-bedroom townhomes.

“If everybody would like to purchase a home, I think everybody should be given the opportunity to purchase a home. We San Diegans, as we know, it’s getting more and more difficult, so it is an absolute honor to be here to celebrate with the families. God bless your home and God bless your whole family,” said City Councilmember Vivian Moreno, who represents District 8, where the new townhome development is located.

When construction of all three phases of the development are complete, the project will be home to 11 families.

“I know that a family just like mine does get to live here and they get to contribute,” said former City Councilmember David Alvarez, a longtime supporter of the COMM22 development who represented District 8. “This wasn’t just easily planned and just given to the community. It was an effort. So I’m really proud for that reason to stand here because it was certainly worth the effort for me and absolutely worth the effort for the families that are here. I’m really proud to be a neighbor to the people who live here.” 

SDHC committed up to $770,000 in loan funding through its First-Time Homebuyer Program to help eligible families buy their homes. SDHC’s First-Time Homebuyer Program has assisted more than 5,600 families in the last 30 years. 

“The San Diego Housing Commission is pleased to be one of the partners that have worked to make homeownership a reality here at San Diego Habitat for Humanity’s COMM22 community in Logan Heights,” SDHC Chair of the Board Stefanie Benvenuto said.

SDHC’s first-time homebuyer loans assist families who earn up to 80 percent of the San Diego Area Median Income, approximately $77,850 a year for a four-person household.

The loans are 3 percent interest, deferred-payment loans, which require no payment for 30 years, unless the owner sells or no longer occupies the home as their primary residence. These loans for the COMM22 townhomes are funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s HOME Investment Partnerships Program, which consists of funds that are awarded to the City of San Diego and administered by SDHC.

The adult members of the townhomes entered into “Sweat Equity Agreements,” a hallmark of Habitat for Humanity developments, committing them to complete at least 250 hours of volunteer work per adult, including helping to construct their future homes.

Each family also was required to contribute a minimum cash investment of $3,000 toward the transaction closing costs.

“Today will be one of those days, one of those days that the whole family will always remember. And they’ll think back on this day and they will say to themselves, ‘We’re so grateful for all the people that contributed,’” San Diego Habitat for Humanity Board Chair Paul Yong said.

When construction is complete, the townhomes are sold at fair market value to the prequalified families. San Diego Habitat for Humanity finances the first deed mortgage at 0 percent interest, and the mortgage will not exceed 33 percent of the household income.

In addition, each family receives $15,000 loans from the Federal Home Loan Bank’s Workforce Initiative Subsidy for Homeownership (WISH) Program.

San Diego Habitat for Humanity will record a 30-year deed restriction against each property, including first right of refusal to repurchase the townhomes to ensure they remain affordable. If townhomes purchased with assistance from SDHC are sold during the affordability term, SDHC will reinvest principal repayments of up to $70,000 per townhome to future borrowers.

To make the development possible, The San Diego Unified School District sold the land on which the development is built to San Diego Habitat for Humanity for $150,000.

The development of COMM22 adds another element to the multiphase, transit-oriented, mixed-use development near the trolley stop at 25th and Commercial streets. These include two SDHC partnership developments, which celebrated their grand openings on May 8, 2015:

  • Victoria at COMM22: 69 affordable rental studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments for seniors (62 and older); and
  • Paseo at COMM22: 128 affordable rental one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments for families, including 13 units of supportive housing for transitional age youth ages 18-25.

SDHC was also a financing partner for these COMM22 affordable rental housing developments, built by BRIDGE Housing Corporation and Metropolitan Area Advisory Committee on Anti- Poverty (MAAC), in partnership with the San Diego Unified School District.


Media Contact:
Scott Marshall
Vice President of Communications
San Diego Housing Commission
(619) 578-7138

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