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December 14, 2023

New Construction of Nearly 100 Affordable Rental Apartments Also Supports Revitalization of Residential Park and Streets in San Ysidro

The San Diego Housing Commission awarded financing and rental housing vouchers to support the development of The Iris at San Ysidro Apartments

SAN DIEGO, CA — A new affordable housing development in collaboration with the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) that broke ground in San Ysidro today will create nearly 100 affordable apartments for families with low income – including San Diegans experiencing homelessness – and support the revitalization of the surrounding community.

“What I love about this particular project is that you have a rail line right here that we recently spent several billion dollars to take all the way up to the University of California San Diego campus. So, there’s a direct access to transit. We’ve got other improvements coming in from a mobility perspective. And this project is helping us to leverage a $5 million grant to make sure that the park just on the other side of the street is not only enhanced, but accessible to the residents of this project, as well as the broader San Ysidro community,” San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said at today’s  groundbreaking ceremony.

When complete, The Iris at San Ysidro (The Iris) will include 99 affordable rental apartments for San Diegans with low-income, including 15 units that will provide permanent housing with supportive services for San Diegans experiencing homelessness.

“We definitely need to continue building. I know that takes a lot of risk from a lot of people in this room. So I thank you for that risk, for taking a risk in San Ysidro. As you guys know, this community is very welcoming. It’s very caring. And we look forward to this project,” said San Diego City Councilmember Vivian Moreno, whose Council District 8 includes The Iris.

National CORE is developing The Iris in collaboration with the City of San Diego, the County of San Diego, SDHC and additional funding partners.

“The only way we’re going to be able to address the issues of our unhoused community is to make sure that we have not only programs and services, but also that we are able to have housing for our community,” said San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chair Nora Vargas.

All units at The Iris will be required to remain affordable for 55 years for households with income up to 60 percent of San Diego’s Area Median Income (AMI), currently $82,680 per year for a family of four. Forty-five units will be affordable for households with extremely low income up to 30 percent of AMI, or $41,350 per year for a family of four.

“At the San Diego Housing Commission, our vision is for everyone in San Diego to have a place to call home that they can afford. Developments like The Iris at San Ysidro are essential to making that vision a reality. When construction here completes, 99 families with low income will call The Iris at San Ysidro home,” SDHC Vice President of Multifamily Housing Finance Jennifer Kreutter said.

SDHC awarded 25 housing vouchers to The Iris to help pay rent for residents with extremely low income. These vouchers are tied directly to this development, so that when a household moves on, the voucher stays to help another household with extremely low income.

Through a competitive Notice of Funding Availability, SDHC also awarded a $2.3 million loan toward this development, funded by the City of San Diego Inclusionary Housing Fund, which SDHC administers.

SDHC also authorized the issuance of up to $31.5 million in tax-exempt Multifamily Housing Revenue Bonds and up to $9 million in taxable bonds for the development. The 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 are not financially liable for the bonds. Private sources of funds, such as revenue from the development, are used to repay the bonds.

“We look across here and we see dirt right now, but how exciting it is in 18 months or so when we return and see what’s been erected here that becomes homes for 100 households, which we know is so incredibly needed here in San Diego and in San Ysidro,” said Gregory Bradbard, National CORE’s Vice President of External Affairs and President of the Hope through Housing Foundation, which will provide services for residents in collaboration with Casa Familiar.

Additional funding for the development includes $5 million the City of San Diego awarded through the Bridge to Home program, $5 million from the County of San Diego Innovative Housing Trust Fund, $3.3 million from the  County of San Diego No  Place Like Home program and $2.2 million from the County for a Capitalized Operating Subsidy Reserve.

Hope through Housing Foundation, a National CORE affiliate, in conjunction with Casa Familiar, will provide a wide range of services for residents, including an after-school program for children and teens, financial literacy and economic development support for families and senior services. Residents will also benefit from on-site health education opportunities and screenings from San Ysidro Health.

The County of San Diego’s Behavioral Health Services division will be the primary provider of services for the residents of the permanent supportive housing apartments, providing essential support to the residents who previously experienced homelessness.

An additional grant to the City of San Diego from the State of California will also support the renovation of Howard Lake Park, a community park located across the street from The Iris, which will receive a new playground, a shade structure, fitness equipment, lighting and other improvements.

The City of San Diego is also enhancing nearby sidewalks, including the addition of a high-intensity activated sidewalk that will make it easier for pedestrians to cross Dairy Mart Road on their way to nearby amenities, which include an elementary school, a San Diego Trolley station, health services and additional services.

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Media Contact: 

Scott Marshall

Vice President of Communications

San Diego Housing Commission


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