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May 30, 2024

Senior Community: 126 Affordable Housing Units Open in Linda Vista

The San Diego Housing Commission awarded 70 housing vouchers to assist residents at Levant Senior Cottages

SAN DIEGO, CA — More than 120 seniors with low income, including several with medical frailties, who otherwise may struggle financially in San Diego’s high-cost housing market now have homes with affordable rent at Levant Senior Cottages, a development in collaboration with the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) that celebrated its grand opening today.

“I’m not going to call it an apartment. I’m calling it a home. I can’t believe the quality of it,” said Earl, a cancer survivor who will receive rental assistance from SDHC at Levant Senior Cottages. “I have a place here I can be proud of – a place where I can put up my children’s pictures. I can decorate. There’s actually room to put a TV, which I haven’t had in some time.”

Levant Senior Cottages in the Linda Vista community consists of 126 affordable rental apartments for seniors ages 55 and older with low-income. These units will remain affordable for the next 55 years. There is also one manager’s unit.

“We must be honest about the crisis our region is facing and decide when enough is enough. Today, we are seeing the very first property to open doors on land offered by the County through an initiative to use excess County sites to develop affordable housing. This also a first step for many more positive projects to come,” said County Supervisor Monica Montgomery Steppe, whose district includes Linda Vista, where Levant Senior Cottages was built. “We know that we must do more—we don’t have a choice—we must do more to alleviate the housing burdens for all the people in our region.”

Developed by Wakeland Housing and Development Corporation in partnership with San Diego Kind, Levant Senior Cottages was built on land owned by the County of San Diego and leased to the development for $1 per year for 70 years.  The 4.5-acre site formerly housed a County child welfare center and later became an empty lot.

SDHC awarded 70 rental housing vouchers to Levant Senior Cottages, which is fully leased, to assist residents with their rent. The housing vouchers are tied to the development. When a resident moves on, the voucher remains with the unit to help another senior.

“The blueprint to help us address this crisis is collaboratives like this one,” SDHC Chair of the Board Eugene “Mitch” Mitchell said. “The collaborative—as part of the blueprint for success that will allow us as a community, as a City, to truly address this crisis—must continue. And so, today is a happy day, but I’m excited because I have a feeling that because of collaborations like this, we’re going to have a bunch of happy days in the future.”

SDHC also authorized the issuance of $22.9 million in tax-exempt Housing Authority Multifamily Housing Revenue Bonds and $19.7 million in taxable bonds toward the financing for the development. The San Diego City Council, in its role as the Housing Authority of the City of San Diego, approved the bonds. SDHC, the City of San Diego and the Housing Authority of the City of San Diego are not financially liable for the bonds. Private sources of funds, such as revenue from the development, are used to repay the bonds.

Wakeland Housing and Development Corporation served as the lead developer, managing the entitlement phase, financing, design, and construction, and provides ongoing asset management and oversight of resident services at the property.

“So many seniors in San Diego are in crisis, with over 50 percent paying more than half of their income toward rent, struggling to live off fixed incomes while costs are anything but,” Wakeland Housing and Development Corporation President and CEO Rebecca Louie said. “Our seniors are living on the edge no safety net to catch them. But projects like this are that safety net.”

Financing for Levant Senior Cottages also included $19 million from the California Department of Housing and Community Development’s Multifamily Housing Program.

“As the nation continues to face an unprecedented housing crisis, California is leading the way and delivering innovative programs to support and protect our most vulnerable residents while creating long-term affordable housing. We are working to end homelessness, increase housing production and preserve affordable housing for years to come,” said California Department of Housing and Community Development Super Notice of Funding Availability Section Chief Melissa Harty-Swaleh.

The rental units at Levant Senior Cottages will be affordable for seniors with income ranging from 25 percent of San Diego’s Area Median Income (AMI), currently $26,550 per year for a one-person household, to 50 percent of AMI, currently $53,050 per year for a one-person household. The new development includes 32 units set aside for seniors identified as frail whose income is extremely low – all of whom will be among the Levant Senior Cottages residents receiving rental assistance from SDHC.

Rents range from $603 to $1,206 per month and will not exceed 30 percent of a resident’s income, according to Wakeland Housing. The utilities for all residential units and the common areas will be paid by the building’s owner.

The design includes 18 single-story “bungalow” type buildings arranged around 2 elevator-serviced two-story buildings connected by a walkway and one large community building that will host on-site services and social activities for residents. Common areas include a large outdoor patio, computer lab, kitchen, laundry room facilities, and space for workshops, classes, community events and social activities.

Units, which range in size from 300 to 500 square feet, include a refrigerator, electric range and oven, storage, a full bathroom, and a patio or balcony.

St. Paul’s Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) will provide wraparound medical and social services for eligible frail and elderly residents at the community. These services include primary medical and specialty care, dental, optometry, prescription drug

coverage, nutritious meals and home care services.

Wakeland Housing will also provide resident services and social activities for all residents.


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Media Contact: 

Scott Marshall

Vice President of Communications

San Diego Housing Commission


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