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November 17, 2020

San Diego Housing Commission Earns National Housing Award for Affordable Housing for Seniors

SAN DIEGO, CA – The San Diego Housing Commission’s (SDHC) rehabilitation of the single-room occupancy (SRO) property New Palace Hotel to provide permanent housing with supportive services for seniors who experienced homelessness or were at risk of homelessness earned a prestigious Award of Excellence today from the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO).

“This national recognition reflects the San Diego Housing Commission’s outstanding work to provide affordable rental homes for vulnerable seniors in the City of San Diego,” SDHC President & CEO Richard C. Gentry said. “I thank and congratulate Mayor Kevin Faulconer and the City Council, who supported this rehabilitation, as well as our staff and the community organizations that worked with us to make this project possible.”

NAHRO Awards of Excellence recognize “outstanding innovation and achievement in housing and community development programs throughout the country.” Only 21 programs or projects nationwide received NAHRO Awards of Excellence this year. NAHRO announced the awards today during its 2020 National Conference, held online.

Located in Bankers Hill, New Palace Hotel was transformed into 79 affordable studio apartments by SDHC in partnership with SDHC’s nonprofit affiliate, Housing Development Partners (HDP).

This was the first major renovation of New Palace in approximately 25 years and included energy-efficiency upgrades. In addition, the New Palace upgrades included the addition of kitchenettes in each dwelling unit—complete with refrigerators, stoves, microwaves and garbage disposals, along with all associated mechanical, electrical and plumbing requirements.

These kitchenettes helped extend the building’s useful life and provided residents the opportunity to cook meals in their individual units. Each unit also received new shower enclosures and bathroom fixtures and was furnished with a bed and dresser.

Residents of the renovated New Palace receive federal rental assistance from SDHC and have access to a variety of supportive services provided by the nonprofit organization Serving Seniors, which also operates the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center located three blocks from the property.

Supportive services and resources include healthcare, legal services, entitlement and retirement benefits assistance, transportation, community events, and one-on-one support.

Before HDP purchased the property in January 2016, New Palace’s affordability restrictions were set to expire in January 2019. The rehabilitation extended the affordability restrictions for 55 years:

  • 24 studios affordable to residents with income up to 30 percent of the San Diego Area Median Income (AMI)
  • 23 studios affordable up to 50 percent of AMI
  • 32 studios affordable up to 60 percent of AMI

New Palace also includes one unrestricted studio manager’s unit.

The rehabilitation of New Palace began in September 2017, and the development received a Certificate of Substantial Completion in December 2018.

SDHC invested a loan of $3.1 million toward the rehabilitation of New Palace, which consisted of local and federal funds that SDHC administers:

  • $3,090,000 of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program funds that HUD awarded to the City of San Diego, and
  • $10,000 from the City of San Diego Housing Trust Fund (Commercial Linkage Fee Revenues).

To support the rehabilitation of New Palace, SDHC also authorized the issuance of $10.5 million in Multifamily Housing Revenue Bonds, with the approval of the San Diego City Council in its role as the Housing Authority of the City of San Diego.

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) provided a loan of $5.8 million to fund HDP’s purchase of New Palace Hotel and closing costs.



Media Contact:

Scott Marshall

Vice President of Communications

San Diego Housing Commission


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