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June 21, 2021

San Diego Housing Commission Collaborations Honored Among Best Affordable Housing Initiatives at 2021 Ruby Awards

SAN DIEGO, CA — Affordable housing solutions created through San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) property purchases and collaborations with developers and organizations addressing homelessness have earned prestigious local awards for excellence in affordable housing and community development.

“These awards reflect the importance and success of a variety of organizations working together to achieve solutions to create affordable homes for households with low income or experiencing homelessness,” SDHC President & CEO Richard C. Gentry said. “The San Diego Housing Commission is honored by this recognition and congratulates the organizations we collaborate with for their outstanding work.”

Ruby Awards, presented by the San Diego Housing Federation, honor “excellence in affordable housing and community development, highlighting the accomplishments of people, agencies and developments that work to ensure all San Diegans, regardless of income, have a safe, stable place they can afford to call home.” The awards were presented during an online ceremony June 17, 2021.

SDHC received the Ruby Award for “Innovations in Response to COVID-19” for its purchase of two extended stay hotels to create 332 permanent affordable housing units with access to supportive services for individuals experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic. State Assemblymember Chris Ward, who presented the award by video, referred to the purchase of the hotel properties as a “game-changing opportunity.”

The San Diego Housing Federation also honored the Chicano Federation with the innovations award for a rental assistance program it implemented. Chicano Federation operates nine affordable rental housing properties with more than 300 units that are homes for more than 700 residents.

SDHC’s purchase of the hotel properties also was among the initiatives for which the City of San Diego received the “Government Agency of the Year” Ruby Award. The City of San Diego and SDHC collaborated on the purchase. Operation Shelter to Home also was cited among the City initiatives for the City’s award. Operation Shelter to Home was a collaboration among the City, County of San Diego, SDHC, Regional Task Force on the Homeless, San Diego Convention Center and homelessness service providers. Launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Operation Shelter to Home included a temporary emergency shelter at the San Diego Convention Center and helped more than 1,400 individuals experiencing homelessness obtain permanent or longer-term housing.

The San Ysidro Senior Village development received two Ruby awards—the Supportive Housing Award and Environmental Award. Developed by National Community Renaissance (National CORE) in collaboration with SDHC, San Ysidro Senior Village provides 50 affordable rental homes for seniors who previously experienced homelessness.

SDHC supported the San Ysidro Senior Village development through HOUSING FIRST –   SAN DIEGO, SDHC’s homelessness action plan, which has created approximately 9,000 housing solutions since 2014 for San Diegans experiencing homelessness, with more than 600 additional housing units pending completion. SDHC awarded 50 federal Project-Based Housing Vouchers to help San Ysidro Senior Village residents pay their rent and a $760,000 loan toward the development. SDHC’s loan consisted of federal and local funds SDHC administers:

  • $700,00 in U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) HOME Investment Partnerships Program funds, which HUD grants to the City of San Diego; and
  • $60,000 from the City of San Diego’s Affordable Housing Fund.

The “Project of the Year – New Construction” award was presented to San Diego Habitat for Humanity for its development of 11 townhomes in Logan Heights for first-time homebuyers. SDHC committed up to $770,000 through its First-Time Homebuyer Program to help eligible families buy their homes at the COMM22 development.


Media Contact: 

Scott Marshall

Vice President of Communications

San Diego Housing Commission                 


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