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October 9, 2023

Four San Diego Housing Commission Programs Honored with National Awards of Merit

SAN DIEGO, CA The San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) has earned four Awards of Merit from the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) for innovative programs to finance affordable housing development, rehabilitate an affordable housing property, help low-income families boost their credit scores, and provide federal rental assistance to households experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness. 

“Innovation and collaboration are what these programs have in common. That is essential as we continue to work to address the shortage of affordable housing and the homelessness crisis in San Diego,” SDHC Board of Commissioners Chair Eugene “Mitch” Mitchell said. “With the leadership and support of Mayor Todd Gloria, the City Council and the Board of Commissioners, as well as the outstanding work of our staff and our partners, the San Diego Housing Commission remains committed to using creativity and innovation in all we do to try and achieve excellent outcomes.”

SDHC’s award-winning programs this year are:

  • Bond Recycling. SDHC is one of the first agencies in the state to partner with the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) to recycle tax-exempt Multifamily Housing Revenue Bonds. A shortage of these bonds has significantly slowed the production of affordable housing in California. Bond recycling allows for the use of bond capacity that is normally lost, and recycles bonds into a new project, without the use of tax credits.
  • Mariner’s Village Rehabilitation. Using a unique income-averaging approach to apply for low-income housing tax credits, SDHC worked with its nonprofit affiliate, Housing Development Partners, to secure financing and complete the first comprehensive rehabilitation of Mariner’s Village in 34 years. This rehabilitation also extended the years of affordability for the 170 deed-restricted affordable rental housing units at Mariner’s Village.
  • Credit-Building Loan Program. To increase opportunities for self-sufficiency and quality of life for families with low income, the SDHC Achievement Academy offered a credit-building loan program in collaboration with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation and the International Rescue Committee Center for Economic Opportunity. A series of installment loans with no interest charges helped borrowers build their credit scores.
  • Emergency Housing Voucher Program. SDHC helped eligible families lease rental homes with federal Emergency Housing Vouchers (EHV) more quickly than many other jurisdictions in California and nationwide, even amid the challenges of a high-cost, low-vacancy rental housing market. EHVs assist people who are experiencing homelessness; are at risk of experiencing homelessness; are fleeing or attempting to flee domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking; or who recently experienced homelessness and for whom rental assistance will help prevent their homelessness or a high risk of housing instability.

The NAHRO Awards of Merit were presented October 5, 2023, at NAHRO’s 2023 National Conference & Exhibition. NAHRO Awards of Merit recognize innovative housing and community development projects, programs and services.

All four SDHC Awards of Merit recipients are also finalists for NAHRO Awards of Excellence, which recognize “outstanding innovation and achievement in housing and community development programs throughout the country.” NAHRO awards only approximately 20 Awards of Excellence nationwide each year. SDHC has received Awards of Excellence in four of the past five award years.

NAHRO is a membership organization of more than 19,500 housing and community development providers and professionals throughout the United States.

For more information about SDHC, visit

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Media Contact:
Scott Marshall
Vice President of Communications
San Diego Housing Commission

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